The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council is pleased to present its yearly Global Overview on trends and developments with regard to conflict-induced internal displacement.
The Global Overview provides an analysis of the world-wide internal displacement crisis, reflecting developments in 2006. It is a unique report in that it is the only comprehensive and regularly published account of the global internal displacement situation. In addition to an analysis of developments at the global level, the report also provides overviews of regional and thematic trends.
By publishing this report, the IDMC hopes to raise awareness of the still often-overlooked plight of some 25 million people internally displaced by conflict and persecution and to draw attention to existing gaps in response at both the national and international level.
National governments have the primary responsibility to prevent forced displacement and to ensure that the displaced are provided with full access to their rights. Yet, as this report shows, the very governments responsible for protecting their citizens from displacement and other violations of their human rights often fail to ensure their protection and are themselves involved in forcibly uprooting civilians. This year's Global Overview therefore has a particular focus on the role of national authorities, highlighting situations where progress was made in addressing internal displacement as well those where significant gaps remain.
The year 2006 saw a sharp increase in the number of people newly uprooted by conflict, with the Middle East particularly hard hit by new internal displacement. As the global internal displacement crisis worsened considerably, the international community continued its efforts to set up a functioning system capable of responding to the needs of internally displaced persons in a timely, predictable and comprehensive manner when national governments are not able or willing to do so. Although progress was made during the year to establish an improved response mechanism - the so-called cluster approach - in a few of the worst humanitarian emergencies, implementation of the new approach remains a challenge.
An improved humanitarian response is necessary to save lives and assist those suffering the effects of conflict. But ultimately, only political solutions to the underlying causes of the conflicts causing displacement will ease the global IDP crisis and reduce the number of people uprooted within their own countries. It is our hope that this report will contribute to a better understanding of the causes and effects of internal displacement and thus help advance solutions leading to the sustainable return or resettlement and reintegration of internally displaced populations worldwide.