2024 Global Conference on Internally Displaced People

More than 71 million people have been displaced within their countries’ borders, and yet these internally displaced people (IDPs) receive far too little international attention and far too little protection. From Gaza to Haiti, some of today’s worst crises are generating large numbers of IDPs. At the same time, most of the world’s IDPs have been displaced for years – many for decades – and solutions remain elusive.

Please join Refugees International and Georgetown University for a conference on the protection of IDPs and solutions to internal displacement. The event will engage IDP leaders and experts to consider emerging themes, including IDP leadership and participation; urbanization; long-term financing to address protracted crises; climate-related internal displacement; and regional approaches. 

This event will be in person at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with an option to join virtually via Zoom. A light lunch will follow. In person registration is now closed.

Thursday, April 18, 2024
9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. ET

Agenda and Speakers 

More details to be announced 

8:30 to 9:00: Registration and Coffee
9:00 to 9:05: Welcome from Beth Ferris, Georgetown University 
9:05 to 9:10: Welcome and Introduction of Keynote from Jeremy Konyndyk, President, Refugees International
9:10 to 9:30: Keynote: Paula Gaviria-Betancur, UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons
9:30 to 9:45: Coffee Break
9:45 to 11:00: Panel 1: “Protection and Solutions: Evolving Concepts and Norms” 
Moderator: Mark Yarnell, Head of IDP Unit (Acting), Division of International Protection, UNHCR
Speakers: To be announced
11:00 to 11:15: Coffee Break 
11:15 to 12:30: Panel 2: “Protection and Solutions: A View from the Ground”
Moderator: Dr. Sarah Miller, Senior Fellow, Refugees International
Speakers: To be announced
12:30 to 12:35: Remarks from Hannes Einsporn, Bosch Stiftung 
12:35 to 1:00: Closing Remarks
1:00: Light Lunch Reception

Background

Recent years have seen a range of IDP-related efforts at the global level. The High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement was followed by the UN Secretary-General’s Action Agenda on Internal Displacement, and the appointment of a Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement. A range of other leaders, such as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced people (IDPs), continue to advocate for IDPs, alongside other groups at the global, regional, national and local levels.

Despite these efforts, the protection and assistance needs of many IDPs are still lacking, and solutions are still hard to come by for most of the world’s IDPs. Recommendations often echo those of past years, with little advancement, and many responses – whether to emergency or protracted IDP situations – still feel ad hoc. Likewise donor states are increasingly retreating from commitments, even as the numbers of IDPs and other displaced people continue to increase. Headline crises – from Gaza to Haiti to Ukraine – highlight a range of unmet protection concerns, and states and international actors struggle to meet those needs.

The IASC has recently released its review of responses to internal displacement and other analytical work, including by IDMC and academic institutions like the University of London, are posing new questions and challenges. In addition, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Solutions to Internal Displacement will be finishing his work later this year. Likewise, as we mark another anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, it is an important moment to take stock and consider how best to drive further progress on protection and solutions to internal displacement. 

About the Organizers

Refugees International’s research on internal displacement is supported by Bosch Stiftung. The project has generated research and reports on IDP situations in Sub-Saharan Africa, looking specifically at the utility of the Kampala Convention, as well as climate-related internal displacement. Refugees International will be publishing a global report on internal displacement later in 2024, which will build on many of the themes covered during this event.

Georgetown University’s Institute for the Study of International Migration is a hub for migration and displacement-related research. Its faculty are thought leaders, and Professor Elizabeth Ferris continues to engage and lead on IDP issues.