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 70.8 million people forcibly displaced around the world, 50.8 million 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

Displacement in Afghanistan is both a historical and contemporary phenomenon. One in four Afghans have been displaced, and conflict triggered 372,000 new internal displacements in 2018. Attempted peace talks have failed to prevent civilian casualties reaching unprecedented levels. Despite this bleak picture, however, more than 3.3 million Afghans have returned from abroad since 2012.

This study, based on a non-representative survey with 120 displaced Afghans in Kabul, Herat and Nangarhar provinces, examines the drivers of displacement within and across borders, and explores obstacles and opportunities in terms of durable solutions for internally displaced people (IDPs) and returnees from abroad.

Research lead

Chloe Sydney

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

Have a look at our other research areas here