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Internally Displaced People: The World’s Most Pressing Humanitarian Crisis?

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Chatham House, London

Participants

Dr David James Cantor, Director, Refugee Law Initiative
Dr Lucy Hovil, Senior Researcher, International Refugee Rights Initiative
Mona Sadek, Deputy Head of Mission, United Kingdom and Ireland, ICRC

Overview

Over the last decade, lengthy periods of armed conflict and violence across a number of African, Asian and Middle Eastern countries have driven the numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) - people forced to flee their homes without leaving their home country - to unprecedented levels. However, even as their numbers continue to grow, there has been an absence of concrete, effective and lasting solutions for the millions of IDPs across the world.
 
In 2016, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) carried out a stocktaking exercise in 25 African countries to identify how these states could best meet their obligations to displaced people laid out in the African Union’s Kampala Convention. Responding to this report, our panellists will begin by assessing the effectiveness of a convention aimed at providing guarantees against forced displacement and standards for the protection of, and assistance to, persons that have been throughout Africa. The panel will also discuss the economic, social and legal needs of IDPs across the globe. Given that IDPs currently outnumber refugees by two to one yet continue to be given disproportionately low attention by international governments and the media, the panellists will identify proposals to create successful synergies between global and local actors in order to urgently address this hidden humanitarian crisis.
 
This event is organized in association with the ICRC.

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