Revitalising IDP research A ‘state of the art’ review

Ala Al-Mahaidi, Léa Gross and David Cantor
Refugee Law Initiative
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Internal displacement due to conflict, violence, disasters and other push factors is a major feature of today’s world. Many millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs) exist in over 125 countries. High levels of poverty among IDPs bring other development and protection challenges, even as mainstreaming of IDPs in the humanitarian response has brought dividends in practice. Yet relatively little new research or thinking on internal displacement has emerged since the mid-2000s.

On 20 July 2018, a special research workshop ‘Revitalising IDP Research’ was convened in London to mark 20 years of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Guiding Principles). The event was convened by the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI), School of Advanced Study, University of London, with a view to consolidating and revitalising academic interest in IDP issues and promoting renewed research in the field.

This report outlines the themes, presentations, discussions and conclusions of the nine thematic panel sessions at that one-day workshop. In tandem, it presents a ‘state of the art’ review of research to illustrate the wider context of current literature on those themes and to substantiate the main priorities for future research identified by each of the panels. Additional areas of contemporary IDP research and the relevant literature are summarised towards the end of the report.