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Africa's IDP situation at a glance

  • Africa hosts at least 11 million of the world's 25 million conflict-affected IDPs- Millions more are displaced annually by natural disasters
  • Sudan has an estimated 4-5 million IDPs, thanks to the recent civil war in the south, and violence in Darfur and the east
  • Displacement does not only result from conflict, but also from natural disasters such as floods and drought
  • At the peak of Uganda's northern conflict, at least 1- 8 million people were displaced- Most have returned home
  • The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement restate and compile existing international human rights and humanitarian law and attempt to clarify grey areas and gaps in the various instruments pertinent to IDPs
  • Refugees, after crossing an international boundary, normally receive food, shelter, and a place of safety, and are protected by international laws and conventions
  • IDPs have little protection or help, and remain under the jurisdiction of their government- No specific legal instruments relating to them exist
  • The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) has no specific mandate to cover IDP needs, but because many of them face similar problems to refugees, it sometimes oversees their protection and shelter
  • Killings and brutal sexual assaults against women, girls and men massively increased in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo after the start of military operations in January
  • Children face increased risk of abduction and recruitment by rebels or government forces, enslavement and sexual exploitation, and miss out on education
Source: IDMC, AlertNet, NGOs, UN agencies

This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions

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