Skip to main content


The displacement continuum: the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement in seven countries

The twentieth of June is World Refugee Day, dedicated to raising awareness of the situation of refugees. There are nearly twice as many internally displaced people (IDPs) as there are refugees, but there is no International Day of Internal Displacement. 

To bring attention to the invisible majority of displaced people, IDMC is investigating the relationship between internal displacement and cross-border movement. We do not know how many refugees were internally displaced previously, or how many refugees and migrants become displaced when they return to their country of origin. This is a major knowledge gap which IDMC is seeking to address by painting a more comprehensive picture of the entire displacement continuum through in-depth primary research. 

This report is based on the results of seven studies conducted in Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Myanmar, Nigeria, South Sudan and Yemen between 2018 and 2019. In doing these studies, we conducted more than 1,470 survey interviews with IDPs, refugees and returning refugees, complementing our findings with qualitative data shared by research participants and key informants. 

Download (PDF, 7.9MB)