Global internal displacement crisis worsens, Middle East particularly hard hit, says survey
GENEVA, 16 April 2007 – The number of people newly displaced within their own countries by conflict has sharply increased, with the Middle East particularly hard hit by new displacements, according to a global survey released today by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre of the Norwegian Refugee Council. The report was issued ahead of an international conference on displacement of Iraqis in the Middle East which convenes in Geneva this week.
“Some 4 million people were internally displaced during 2006 as a result of armed conflict, more than twice as many as in the previous year”, said Tomas Colin Archer, Secretary General of the Norwegian Refugee Council.
The total number of internally displaced people worldwide was nearly 25 million as of end-2006, the report says. This is about twice the number of refugees who have managed to cross an international border and are entitled to protection and assistance under the 1951 Refugee Convention. Internally displaced people fall under the protection of their governments, but in many cases it is these very governments who perpetrate forced displacement.