UN Migration Agency Reinforces Commitment to Displaced People through Enhanced Framework on Internal Displacement

Internally Displaced Persons

Geneva – IOM, the UN Migration Agency has launched an enhanced framework for addressing internal displacement, a challenge which has risen to unprecedented levels. Over 40 million people are currently displaced by conflict within the borders of their own country – this represents 62 per cent of the total number of people displaced globally. In addition, disasters displace an average of 26 million people every year.

Given the increased frequency, intensity and duration of contemporary conflicts, lack of political solutions to resolve the drivers of displacement, and the rising risks associated with environmental degradation, climate change and other sudden-impact or slow-onset disasters, addressing internal displacement must be a global priority.

“There are few personal tragedies worse than having to flee for your life. The hardship only deepens when there are no solutions in sight,” said William Lacy Swing, IOM Director General, from the Organization’s Headquarters. “Addressing internal displacement is a global humanitarian imperative. Internally displaced people are among the world’s most vulnerable; facing poverty, loss of education, unemployment, marginalization and insecurity, to name only a few. At the same time, I have witnessed the courage, tenacity and resilience of these people – and the generosity of host communities – under some of the harshest conditions imaginable.”

The enhanced framework responds to changes in and the expansion of IOM’s policies and operations over the years. In 2016, IOM’s operations reached more than 19 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and provided over 6 million host community members with support across 31 countries. This makes IOM one of the largest actors on internal displacement issues globally. The Framework lays out IOM’s strategic role in the current global humanitarian and development landscape.

“This category of ‘displaced persons’ are not just a statistic. They represent a formidable source of untapped positive potential and agency, and this framework fully recognizes that. It makes good economic sense, and is socially advantageous, to empower people to develop their own responses and solutions to displacement. It is equally essential to foster economic growth and opportunities in host communities,” Ambassador Swing said.

He concluded, “Ultimately, though, we will not be able to adequately resolve the global crisis of internal displacement until durable solutions are found, and States and communities are united in sharing responsibility in responding to displacement, in preventing and reducing the risks of crises, and in resolving conflicts as urgently as possible.”

The principles of engagement, commitments, approach and operational objectives contained in the Framework set the foundation and direction for all aspects of IOM’s work on internal displacement. The goal of the Framework is to support operational effectiveness across the Organization in the identification and implementation of responses to internal displacement and as part of its coordinated partnerships.

The people-centred framework is guided by the fact that States have a primary responsibility for internally displaced persons. It is grounded in prevailing principles, policies and practices relating to internal displacement like the Guiding Principles for Internal Displacement. The Framework also reinforces IOM’s commitment to protecting the dignity and well-being of all people on the move, a cost-effective operation model and transparency.

The framework can be downloaded here.

For more information, please contact Olivia Headon at IOM HQ in Geneva, Tel: +41 79 403 5365, Email: oheadon@iom.int


  • An IOM staff member chats with children in the Jowle IDP settlement in Garowe, Puntland. Photo: Mary-Sanyu Osire / IOM 2014