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Becoming an Adult in Internal Displacement

Becoming an Adult in Internal Displacement


Key figures, challenges and opportunities for internally displaced youth. 

Internally displaced young women and men, like all internally displaced people (IDPs), are impacted by displacement in multiple ways. As they are at a crucial time in their lives for their personal, social and professional development, they may have particular ways of facing the experience. They encounter specific risks and sometimes lack the resources to avoid them. They can also, however, find opportunity in the midst of adversity, if the right conditions are in place. 

This report presents the first estimates of the number of IDPs between the ages of 15 and 24 at the global, regional and national levels for about 100 countries. Conflicts, violence and disasters resulted in nearly ten million young people living in displacement around the world at the end of 2019. This is the highest figure ever recorded, although it is likely an underestimate.

Recurring challenges for displaced young people

This report also includes an overview of some of the most recurring challenges young people face in internal displacement. Their age, gender, disability status and socioeconomic background, as well as other factors, play a significant role. In order to illustrate this complexity, the report highlights the experiences of internally displaced girls, members of sexual minority groups and street-connected youth, showing the specific risks they can encounter. 

The report is intended to raise awareness on the need to include young IDPs in plans to prevent and respond to displacement, to ensure adequate support for all, and to make the most of the resilience and resources young people can display under such circumstances. 

In order to achieve those goals, better age- and sex-disaggregated data on IDPs must be collected. Even more importantly, perhaps, young IDPs must be encouraged to voice their needs and wants and take an active part in the design and implementation of solutions to displacement, now and in the future.