Internally displaced persons and the Sustainable Development Goals (Click for full graphic)

This year marks the twentieth anniversary of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, an international framework that authoritatively restates the rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). This presents an opportunity to put the plight of IDPs back on the radar of the international community. At the same time, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development presents an opportunity to ensure that the plight of IDPs is addressed in both the short and long term.

This issue brief explores the links between internal displacement and the 2030 Agenda’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and highlights ongoing efforts to address the longer-term needs of IDPs. It also looks at the specific cases of Nigeria and Iraq, which are among the few countries that have made this link by seeking to address the needs of IDPs through development-oriented initiatives.

The paper concludes with several recommendations for states, the UN, and other humanitarian and development actors to ensure that they are adequately addressing the long-term needs of IDPs:

  • Member states should turn their commitment to “leave no one behind” into policy and programming by including IDPs’ concerns in their development planning.
  • Humanitarian and development actors should systematically remind national governments of their obligations vis-à-vis IDPs.
  • The UN and other humanitarian and development actors should strive for closer coordination and cooperation when addressing the needs of IDPs.
  • All stakeholders should ensure that data informing IDP-inclusive development policies is reliable and takes into account the voices of those affected.