Reactions from Civil Society and Others

Following 18 months of consultations, research and analysis, the Panel has officially submitted its report to the UN Secretary-General on 29 September 2021. Below is a snapshot of the initial reactions from civil society and other actors:

Civil Society

27 September 2021 

Letter to the Secretary General on the High Level Panel on Internal Displacement

Refugees International

Dear Mr. Secretary-General:


In the lead-up to the public release of recommendations from the High Level Panel (HLP) on Internal Displacement, we are writing to urge you to ensure that the work of the panel results in strong action from member states, from funds and programs and other entities within the UN system, from the UN Secretariat, and from other international organizations. We believe you have a key role in promoting that outcome.

29 September 2021 

Christian Aid heralds UN first High-Level Panel report on millions of displaced people as welcome milestone

After years of pressure from civil society, activists and humanitarian and development agencies, including Christian Aid, the UN has today released its first High-Level Panel report explicitly on internally displaced people (IDPs). Often forgotten, these people instead of fleeing their homes to other countries, remain within their country’s borders. The number of IDPs in the world has reached a staggering 55 million – with an increase of ten million in the last year.

30 September 2021

UN High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement: Can a new development-based approach bring solutions to this global crisis?

Professor David Cantor and Dr Gabriel Cardona-Fox, Internal Displacement Research Programme (IDRP) at the School of Advanced Study, University of London

When does displacement end? For the 40 million people who, last year alone, fled their homes to escape conflict, violence and disasters but remained in their own countries, the answer is: not any time soon, if ever.

30 September 2021 , Geneva

Promising times for internally displaced people worldwide

Enzo Tabet Cruz, Plan International

The newly released report of the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement represents the best opportunity in years to change the lives of internally displaced persons (IDPs) worldwide. It is now up to the UN Secretary General – and indeed all of us – to meet the ambition.


We are at a decisive moment for the future of internally displaced persons (IDPs) across the globe. Internal displacement has been a contentious issue in global politics. Because it is by nature internal to a single country – and many times, caused by the State itself – attempts to strengthen global accountability have been systematically shut down. Despite progress, little political attention has been given in the last years to finding long-term solutions to the problem.

1 October 2021, Geneva

Women’s Refugee Commission Welcomes Report of UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement

A new report launched this week by the United Nations Secretary-General’s (UNSG) High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement (HLP) laid out new actions to address, prevent, and respond to internal displacement globally.


The report is the result of two years’ work by the HLP, along with advocacy organizations, including the Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC), and is in response to the millions of people trapped in protracted displacement and the imperative to help them find durable solutions. For example, in Afghanistan alone, more than 3.5 million people were internally displaced prior to the Taliban takeover.

4 October 2021

Experts highlight education as a durable solution for internally displaced children, but lost opportunity for action

Kate Moriarty, Inter-agency Network for Education in Emergencies (INEE) and Emma Wagner, Save the Children

A new report launched last week by the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement recognises education as a key pillar for durable solutions. The report highlights the need for investment in public education infrastructure, support for teachers, and targeted assistance for displaced children and youth. Yet with 30 million children and youth internally displaced worldwide, this report was a missed opportunity to focus one of the report’s 10 recommendations for member states and donors on education.

6 October 2021

Civil society and the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement: Will the vision for the future challenge the status quo?

Jerome Elie, International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA)

Tackling those challenges and proposing a ‘Vision for the Future’, on 29 September the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement released its long-awaited report. This outcome marked a major landmark in efforts to generate political momentum and guidance to address internal displacement challenges.


Already in 2016, the World Humanitarian Summit had highlighted the issue of protracted internal displacement. However, the New York Declaration and the two Global Compacts that followed largely left the fate of internally displaced persons unattended, focusing rather on refugees and ‘safe, orderly and regular migration’. Concerned that Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) may ‘fall through the cracks’, a variety of stakeholders mobilized to ensure renewed attention to the issue of internal displacement.

6 October 2021, London

Addressing the issue of internal displacement

Dr Jeff Crisp, Refugee Studies Centre (University of Oxford) and Chatham House

A new report from a ‘High Level’ UN Panel seeks to transform the way in which states and the international community address the plight of people who are displaced within their own country. While the report presents a plethora of worthy recommendations, many obstacles stand in the way of their effective implementation, while the very notion of ‘internally displaced people’ requires further consideration.

13 October 2021

Justice or charity? Climate change in the UN High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement report

Brian Aycock, International Christian University, Carolien Jacobs, Leiden University, and Ana Mosneaga, Ritsumeikan University

In 2050, a staggering 216 million people could be on the move within their own countries due to climate change, alerted the recent Groundswell report by the World Bank. At present, disasters and the adverse effects of climate change already account for the majority of new internal displacements. It is therefore laudable that the recently launched report of the UN Secretary General’s High Level Panel on Internal Displacement (HLP report) addresses climate change as one of the drivers of displacement. Importantly, the HLP report also talks about the need to ‘prevent and mitigate risks of displacement’ (p.41).

14 October 2021

Joint letter urging UN Secretary-General Guterres to take immediate action for the internally displaced after report release

InterAction and ICVA, alongside a coalition of 25 NGO signatories

Dear Secretary-General Guterres,


We write to you to express our strong support for the recommendations delivered to you in the report of the High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. We urge that immediate action be taken in implementing those that are clearly within the purview of the Secretary-General to ensure the vision behind the Panel’s work is realized and to ensure better outcomes for the internally displaced around the world.

22 October 2021

Building on the Momentum: IDMC’s commitment to carry forward recommendations by the UN Secretary General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC)

When the UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, announced the establishment of a High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement in October 2019, the challenges ahead were daunting and expectations high. With steadily rising numbers of internally displaced people (IDPs) around the world, the need to address this global issue collectively and with urgency had become evident.

30 October 2021

UN Urges More Support for Cities to Address IDPs Crises

Cities Alliance

Cities Alliance welcomes the latest report by the United Nations High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement, which embraces the role of urban areas in addressing growing IDP crises around the world. Shining a Light on Internal Displacement: A Vision for the Future calls for strong action on enabling cities to offer solutions for IDPs.

8 November 2021, Berlin

Working toward Durable Solutions to Internal Displacement

Nadine Knapp and Anne Koch, Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik (German Institute for International and Security Affairs)

In September, the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Inter­nal Displacement issued its final report. In it, the Panel called for a shift in emphasis from short-term humanitarian to longer-term development-oriented approaches and thus a focus on durable solutions.