Internal Displacement in an Increasingly Urbanised World: Submission to the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement (JIPS, IIED, UN-Habitat, 2021)


In February 2021, the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, launched multistage initiative to bring attention to internal displacement in urban areas. Implemented in cooperation with UN-Habitat, JIPS and the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), this process builds on and complements an original set of recommendations submitted by those three actors to the High-Level Panel.

They call for a reconceptualisation of IDP movements to urban areas “as an accelerated version of an inevitable and widespread trend towards urbanization,” which demands tailored urban-oriented responses and the need to work more closely with those at the frontline of reception of most IDPs – municipal authorities”.

The process involved six consultations with mayors, municipality administrators and other local authorities from Burkina Faso (Kaya, Kongoussi, Tougouri and Dori), Colombia (Medellin), Iraq (Mosul), Ukraine (Luhansk Oblast), Somalia (Mogadishu) and Honduras (San Pedro Sula). The subsequent roundtable brought together some 40 urban and forced displacement experts from municipalities, financial and technical partners and academia, to share their reflections and experiences on the current urban displacement response, the growing challenges faced by cities and towns, and proposals for the ways forward.

This synthesis report consolidates insights and lessons learned from the consultations with municipal and regional authorities as well as international experts. Its findings and recommendations feed into the work of the High-Level Panel.

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