Developing DFID's Policy Approach to Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons

Originally published



1. The Study: contents and purpose. This Report discusses current patterns of forced migration, especially in low and middle-income countries, and examines responses by humanitarian actors, including governments, international agencies and NGOs. The purpose of the study is to provide the Department For International Development - UK (DFID) with an analysis of recent initiatives for change in this field, in order to help the Department refine its policy positions, as well as to help inform thinking in the UK Government as a whole.

2. Shifts in patterns of forced migration. The patterns and types of forced migration are constantly shifting. After rising for several decades, refugee and asylum seeker numbers have recently declined. This is partly due to the resolution of some long-running conflicts, but it is also a result of the success of richer states' efforts to contain forced migration in countries or regions of origin. The latter trend is arguably reflected in the rise in numbers of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Another major shift is the increasing significance of complex and protracted displacement, in which large groups of refugees experience long-term exile. These shifts mean that the efforts of development agencies have to be balanced among several different kinds of forced migrant populations: among returning refugees to help consolidate peace and stability in countries emerging from violent conflict; among refugees in poor countries of asylum, particularly where their presence has been protracted; and among IDPs and other war-affected populations in conflict-ridden countries.