2012 saw the highest rates of internal displacement on record, with 28.8 million people around the world displaced within their own countries by armed conflict, human rights violations and violence. This is an increase of 2.4 million people over the number displaced in 2011. This rise was partially due to high-profile conflicts in countries such as Syria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo which had severe humanitarian consequences. People newly displaced in 2012 joined the millions who have been waiting for durable solutions to their situation for years, sometimes decades.
On May 24, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement and the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) presented the findings of IDMC’s Global Overview 2012, which surveys the internal displacement situation in different countries around the world and analyzes the main causes that lead to the continued displacement of millions of men, women and children. Panelists discussed directions for more effective responses to this growing, but unmet crisis and explore the role of governments, civil society and the international community at large in ensuring protection, assistance and ultimately solutions for those caught in displacement. Panelists included: Joel Charny, vice president for humanitarian policy and practice for InterAction; Nancy Lindborg, assistant administrator for the Bureau for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance at USAID; Elizabeth Hopkins, deputy assistant secretary of the Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration at the U.S. Department of State; and Frank Smith, head of department, Middle East, Europe, Caucasus, and Asia, IDMC. Senior Fellow Elizabeth Ferris, co-director of the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, provided introductory remarks and moderated the discussion.