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What is internal displacement?

Internal displacement is a global phenomenon. In 2018, there were 28 million new internal displacements associated with conflict, violence and disasters. Internal displacement uproots people within their own countries, often at a moment’s notice, depriving them of their homes, jobs, basic services and social connections. It often makes them more vulnerable to armed attacks, abuse, and discrimination.

What are the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement?

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement were established 20 years ago and are widely accepted as the global standard for protecting and assisting internally displaced people. They spell out the rights of internally displaced people and the corresponding obligations of national authorities.

Who is responsible for helping internally displaced people?

Responsibility for addressing the plight of IDPs lies primarily with states. But to do this, states will need to recognize that humanitarian responses alone are not enough. Long-term development planning – including policies which recognise the positive impact internally displaced people can have on the communities which host them – will be critical to securing the peace, stability and prosperity of countries hosting IDPs, and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. International support can help states meet their obligations.

Why do we need your support?

While the Guiding Principles have helped to raise awareness and address internal displacement, much remains to be done. Unacceptable numbers of people are still displaced each year, and more and more people live in situations of prolonged displacement with no solution in sight.

We all have a role to play in supporting IDPs by:

  • Calling on governments to provide internally displaced people with fair and decent solutions
  • Demanding that the international system recognise internal displacement as a global issue that must be addressed for the world to achieve the SDGs
  • Calling on governments and other actors to prevent and reduce internal displacement in line with the Guiding Principles through investments in peace building, disaster risk reduction and inclusive development
  • Calling on governments to develop and implement laws and policies based on the Guiding Principles, and
  • Advocating for the rights and freedoms of internally displaced people

Help us reach 20,000 signatures to give to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of IDPs for her work in advancing prevention, protection and solutions for IDPs. Sign-up now and share the campaign with your friends, family and colleagues!

Sign up below to have your name or organization listed in support of this campaign.

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  • Special Rapporteur on the human rights of IDPs, Cecilia Jimenez-Damary
  • IOM
  • OCHA
  • Christian Aid
  • Translators without Borders
  • Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC)
  • Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)
  • Casa Monarca Humanitarian Aid for Migrants
  • Ohaha Family Foundation


  • Joyce Day
  • Lizette Knoetze
  • William Boteler
  • Jorge Arzave
  • Angela Dass
  • Suzanne DeerlyJohnson
  • Winnie de Pass
  • Donna Jeanpierre
  • Aleksandra Semeriak
  • Rayel Jefe

+ View the full list