General Article Internal displacement

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With nearly 25 million people uprooted within their own country by conflicts and human rights violations1, internal displacement is one of the great human tragedies of our time. Yet the global crisis of internal displacement, which affects 52 countries across all continents, has unfolded largely unnoticed by the general public. International public attention continues to focus on refugees, i.e. people who crossed international borders after fleeing their homes. In comparison, internally displaced people (IDPs) have received much less attention, although their number is nearly twice as high, and their plight is often even worse than that of refugees.

Among the millions of people newly displaced in 2003, many were deliberately targeted by their own governments. In several cases, the protection of displaced people was undermined in the context of counter-insurgency campaigns intensified under the guise of the 'war on terror'. Others became victims of attacks by rebel groups or were for...

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