Internally displaced person
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An internally displaced person (IDP) is someone who has been forced to leave their home for reasons such as religious or political persecution or war, but has not crossed an international border. The term is a subset of the more general displaced person. There is no legal definition of IDP, as there is for refugee , but the rule of thumb is that if the person in question would be eligible for refugee status if he or she crossed an international border then the IDP label is applicable. IDPs are not technically refugees because they have not crossed an international border, but are sometimes casually referred to as refugees.
The United Nations via the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights recently agreed on non-binding Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement based on the refugee instruments, which defines internally displaced persons as: "Persons or groups of persons who have been forced or obliged to flee or to leave their homes or places of habitual residence, in particular as a result of or in order to avoid the effects of armed conflict, situations of generalized violence, violations of human rights or natural or human-made disasters, and who have not crossed an internationally recognized State border." 
Nevertheless, there is no dedicated UN agency to deal with IDPs. This has led the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to act as ad hoc lead on IDP matters. As a result, it has been criticized for treating IDPs as less important adjuncts to their core mission to assist refugees.
There are currently nearly 25 million IDPs worldwide, roughly twice the total number of refugees. Internally displaced persons do not have a specific international legal instrument that applies to them as do refugees, because any attempt by an outside body to tell a nation how it should treat its own citizens has been seen as a violation of the principle of national sovereignty and self-determination. This principle has come under pressure in recent years by those who feel a moral imperative to stop gross abuse of citizens by their governments. Recent examples include use by the United States as a primary justification for military intervention during the Kosovo War and a secondary justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
 Countries with significant IDP populations
- Burundi due to fighting between government and Hutu rebel groups.
- Colombia due to the war between the government, FARC, the AUC and other armed groups
- Cyprus due to the intercommunal troubles of 1964 and the 1974 Turkish invasion and aftermath.
- The Democratic Republic of Congo due to ongoing war
- Iraq due to forced displacement during Saddam Hussein's regime, and fighting between the Multi-National Force and Iraqi insurgent groups.
- Indian-administered Kashmir due to anti-Hindu and anti-India insurgency
- Sudan due to civil conflicts in the South and Darfur in the west
- Uganda due to the insurgency of the Lord's Resistance Army
- West Bank and Gaza due to house demolitions and land confiscation by the government of Israel.
- United States due to Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita and systematic governmental failure and denial of access to resources necessary for return.
 IDPs by country
- Bosnia and Herzegovina�309,240
- Colombia�1,580,396 - 3,410,041
- [[C�te d'Ivoire]]�500,000
- Democratic Republic of the Congo�2,330,000
- India�600,000+ due to Boxing Day Tsunami and 500,000 Kashmiri Hindus due to anti-India insurgency <ref></ref>
- Myanmar (Burma)�526,000
- Sri Lanka�352,374
- Turkey�350,000 - 1,000,000+
To see a table showing the most recent available figures on IDPs displaced by conflict, see IDMC's IDP statistic page.
- The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Refugees by Numbers.
- Ilaria Bottigliero, "Displaced Persons Caught between War and Peace in Asia", 2 ISIL Yearbook of International Humanitarian and Refugee Law (2002), pp. 117-133.
 External links
- Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), Norwegian Refugee Council
- The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement
- Website of the UN Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons
-  Brookings-Bern Project on Internal Displacement]
- Forced Migration Online provides access to a diverse range of relevant information resources, including a searchable digital library consisting of full-text documents
- Forced Migration Reviewmagazine, published in four languages, with regular IDP news
- BBC News Online - World 'forgets' internal refugees
- Photojournalist's Account - Images of displacement in Sudan
- Refugee Law Project (RLP) "Part advocacy group, part research institution, part legal aid clinic, part trainer and educator," a leading Ugandan organisation working with refugees, IDPs and the conflict in the Northde:Interne Vertreibung