Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) now comprise the main war victims, and are probably twice as numerous as refugees. Paradoxically, a legal framework and a special institution exist for the latter whereas neither exists for the former. This serious structural flaw in the international humanitarian system has been recognized with the appointment of a representative of the UN Secretary-General on internally displaced persons. Over the last half decade, international discourse has changed and guiding principles have been developed for dissemination. It is time for action to replace oratory. A review of the progress to date and gaps in the present coverage for IDPs provide the background for analyzing intergovernmental options currently under consideration.