Photo: OCHA/Iason Athanasiadis

The Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement make clear that national authorities “have the primary duty and responsibility to provide protection and humanitarian assistance to internally displaced persons within their jurisdiction” (Principle 3(1)).

Like all human beings, internally displaced persons enjoy human rights that are articulated by international human rights instruments and customary law. In situations of armed conflict, moreover, they enjoy the same rights as other civilians to the various protections provided by international humanitarian law – OHCHR.

Internally displaced people – unlike refugees – have not crossed an international border. IDPs remain in their own country and under the protection of its government, even if that government is the reason for their displacement.