Uganda has a massive number of IDPs—more than 1.7 million, over 6% of the national population. Although it is one of the few countries with a national IDP policy, ineffective implementation means many IDPs still face security threats, limited access to humanitarian assistance and difficulties in returning home.
Some 90% of the population of northern Uganda have been uprooted as a result of conflict between the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) and the government. Considerable additional displacement has been caused by armed cattle raiders from the northeastern Karamoja region. The majority of IDPs have been living in squalid camps—some for 10 years—where they are vulnerable to human rights abuse, disease and deprivation.
Uganda’s National Policy for IDPs was adopted in 2004, following a visit by Francis Deng, former Representative of the Secretary-General on IDPs.1 It draws on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement and commits the government to protect its citizens against arbitrary displacement, guarantee their rights during displacement and promote durable solutions by facilitating voluntary return, resettlement, integration and re-integration.