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.
Weiss, Thomas G. (1999) Whither International Efforts for Internally Displaced Persons?, Journal of Peace Research 36 (3): 363–373.