In the past decade, the term "internally displaced person" (IDP) has entered the international lexicon and gained wide currency to denote persons forcibly displaced within their countries. It is generally understood that a person becomes internally displaced when s/he is forced or obliged to flee or to leave his or her home or place of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or human-made disasters, but remains within her or his country of origin. It has also come to be widely recognized that the factual situation of being internally displaced tends to create particular needs and vulnerabilities requiring special attention. The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement seek to address these needs by spelling out the various norms relevant to providing protection and assistance in all phases of internal displacement. Yet, while there exists considerable awareness of when internal displacement begins and what special needs it entails for the affected persons, the issue of when internal displacement ends or, in other words, when an IDP ceases to be considered as such, has been unclear.
On April 22, the Brookings-SAIS Project, in collaboration with Georgetown University's Institute for the Study of International Migration and the Norwegian Refugee Council, hosted a meeting to discuss criteria for when internal displacement ends. Participants included representatives from international organizations and non-governmental organizations working with internally displaced persons as well as experts from academia.
Download the Meeting Report »
"When Does Internal Displacement End?" Forced Migration Review, Special issue guest edited by Erin Mooney of the Brooking-SAIS Project
Conference Statement on "When Does Internal Displacement End?", by Erin Mooney
When Does Internal Displacement End: A Framework for Durable Solutions, Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement, September 2007