Up to 3 million people displaced by conflict and human rights abuses between 2000 and 2009
It is estimated that conflict and associated human rights violations may have displaced up to 3 million people in the Philippines since 2000 (see Table 1). The majority were displaced in the majority-Muslim provinces of Mindanao due to fighting between the government and the MILF. Large-scale displacement has also occurred as a result of the by conflict between the AFP and the NPA, which remains active throughout the country, and by military operations against criminal groups such as the ASG in the island Provinces of Sulu and Basilan in Western Mindanao.
In 2000, nearly a million people fled President Estrada’s “all out war” against the MILF. This was followed three years later by another major military offensive against the Moro rebels which resulted in the displacement of more than 400,000 people.
Table 1: Conflict-induced displacement in Mindanao, 2000-2009
Sources: DSWD & other available sources, September 2009
For the year 2008, it is estimated that nearly 700,000 people were displaced by armed conflict and human right abuses in the Philippines, mainly as a result of the August 2008 upsurge in fighting between the MILF and the government in Mindanao (CDRC, May 2009). By May 2009, government records showed that at least 750,000 people had been displaced since August 2008 (DSWD, 15 May 2009). Large-scale displacement occurred between May and July as a result of an intensification of military operations in Maguindanao province. Although no figures were available, it is believed that an additional 150,000 and 200,000 people could have been displaced during this three-month period.
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United Nations Resident Coordinator’s Office for the Philippines, 31 March 2009, Mindanao Humanitarian Situation Update
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