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Workshop/CfP : ‘Revitalising the IDP Field’ 20 Years of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, 20 July 2018, UK

Publish Date: Oct 10, 2017

Deadline: Jan 22, 2018

Special Workshop: ‘Revitalising the IDP Field’
20 Years of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement

Refugee Law Initiative, University of London
20 July 2018

Join us for a dedicated one-day workshop to celebrate 20 years of the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement on Friday 20 July 2018 at the Senate House, University of London.

The 20th anniversary of the adoption in 1998 of the UN Guiding Principles offers a unique opportunity to reflect not only on their influence on internal displacement globally but also on the global state of research and practice on internally displaced persons (IDPs).

This special IDP Workshop provides a forum for researchers, practitioners, policy-makers and students to come together to present, debate and reflect on this field and its future. It offers the chance to begin developing new research and policy agendas and collaborations.

Please note that the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) 3rd Annual Conference will take place over the preceding two days (Weds 18 July – Thurs 19 July). IDP Workshop participants are welcome to participate in the RLI Annual Conference but must register separately for it.


Urgent debate and new thinking on IDPs is required by the sheer scale of the challenges. Since 1998, the Guiding Principles have promoted a common approach to IDPs. Yet over 40 million IDPs remain displaced due to conflict. Over 200 million were displaced due to disasters in just the last ten years. These figures dwarf the number of refugees (22.5 million).

Moreover, with IDPs present in more than 125 countries, attention to IDPs is a major part of the humanitarian effort. Similarly, higher levels of poverty among IDPs means that internal displacement also represents a real challenge for the development and security sectors. Yet a relative paucity of new thinking and research on IDPs marks the past ten years.

The IDP Workshop promotes renewed research on IDPs and internal displacement. Alongside presentations by leading figures in this field, it will host panel sessions to share research and reflections on IDPs from academia and from policy/practice. Paper and panel submissions on ANY aspect of internal displacement are welcomed.

Possible topics include:

  • The Guiding Principles and their legacy, including legal and practical implementation in national and other contexts, emergence of an ‘IDP law’ field, regional approaches such as the 2009 Kampala Convention, prospects for a Global Compact on IDPs.
  • How to improve attention to IDPs, including how to promote a more effective response by governments, the UN system and other actors, politics and pragmatics of access and attention to IDPs in conflict, disaster and other contexts.
  • Internal displacement dynamics, including relationship to internal migration and urbanisation, IDPs as citizens and political actors, processes of identity formation, agency and self-protection by IDPs, urban IDPs and new displacement trends.
  • Disaster and other non-conflict forced internal displacement, including analysis of dynamics and responses, situation of IDPs simultaneously affected by conflict and disasters, relevance of disaster relief law, implications for the ‘IDP’ concept.
  • IDPs and refugees, including link between internal and cross-border displacement, situation of returning refugees and migrants, IDPs in regional displacement scenarios, relevance of refugee law and protection to IDPs (and vice-versa).
  • Solutions and displacement, including displacement through time, returns and reparations, IDP contribution to peace, prevention of displacement; also links between IDPs, poverty and development, IDP contribution/insertion to economy.
  • IDP data and research methodology, including studies contributing to the evidence base and addressing the data gap on IDPs, reflections on how to research IDPs, rigorous and contextualised analysis of existing databases.

These are pointers only and we welcome proposals on any aspect of the IDP field.

The selection committee is pleased to invite paper (max. 300 words) and panel proposals (of 3-4 papers). Selection is competitive and based on quality and relevance of the proposal.

Please send proposals to by Monday 22 January 2018. A decision will be returned by 19 February. The decision of the selection committee is final.

Proposals are welcomed from researchers at all stages in their careers.


All attendees, including presenters, will need to register for the IDP workshop as follows:

A. Early Bird - booking completed before or on 1 March 2018: Standard - £45; Student, unemployed etc. - £35; RLI affiliates (DAs, SRAs, MA Refugee Protection students) - £25

B. Non-Early Bird - booking completed after 1 March 2018: Standard - £70; Student, unemployed etc. - £55; RLI affiliates (DAs, SRAs, MA Refugee Protection students) - £40

‘Early bird’ registration opens on 1 November 2017.

Participants are responsible for making their own visa, travel and accommodation arrangements, which are not included in the registration fee. However, we can provide details for economical hotels close to the workshop venue.

For more information please click "Further Official Information" below.

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