Internal to cross-border displacement

Research agenda

The vast majority of people who flee their homes to escape conflict, violence and disasters do not cross an international border. Of the 65 million people forcibly displaced around the world, 40 million – or more than six out of ten – are internally displaced people. They are the invisible majority.

The relationship between internal displacement and movements of refugees and migrants is not well understood. This is a major knowledge gap which we want to address. In the coming years, we will seek to build an evidence base painting a more quantitative and qualitative picture of the entire displacement continuum, from the drivers of onward movement across borders to return to countries of origin.

Download the research agenda (PDF, 0.5MB) in French, Spanish or Arabic. Click on read more for the English version.

Latest publication

IDMC has set out to better understand the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movements. This case study on Iraq forms part of the resulting Invisible Majority thematic series. It examines drivers of displacement and the onward movement of people within and across borders, provides better understanding of their priorities and preconditions for return, and explores obstacles to their achievement of durable solutions.

As part of this case study, we conducted more than 300 interviews in Iraq, Jordan and Sweden. The research cannot claim to be representative, but it offers a useful snapshot of displacement along the entire displacement continuum, including internally displaced people (IDPs), refugees, returning IDPs and returning refugees.

Research lead

Elizabeth J. Rushing

We are always looking to strengthen and expand partnerships. If you are interested in working with us, please contact elizabeth.rushing@idmc.ch.

Have a look at our other research areas here