Listening to the voices of the displaced: lessons learned

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are the best placed to articulate their needs and evaluate the national, regional and international responses to those needs, but most decisions on situations of internal displacement still do not sufficiently reflect their thinking. The purpose of this report is to make better known how IDPs view the major issues affecting them.

Based on concerns raised by IDPs, the report puts forth several recommendations. They include the need for a better international understanding of who is an IDP; acceptance of IDPs as a category of concern; national policy frameworks in support of IDPs; making information about national laws and policies better known; increased consultation with IDPs; closer relationships and consultations with UN agencies and NGOs; greater involvement of regional organisations; increased support for IDP associations and local NGOs; increased protection for IDP associations and their leaders; greater attention to overall IDP security; more resources and attention to host communities; more simplified registration for gaining access to emergency services; easier and more rapid access to documentation; greater focus on housing; education as a priority; expanded job training programmes for IDPs; greater access to micro credit systems and bank loans and a tailoring of these systems to IDPs; more attention to vulnerable groups within the IDP population, in particular the elderly; the empowerment of women; restitution and compensation; greater attention to making returns sustainable; and return and resettlement as a solution.

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