International Development Law Organization

Refugees and Migrants

Approximately 65.5 million people around the world are forcibly displaced. Weak rule of law, poor governance, conflict and human rights abuses are all drivers of displacement. There are also at least 10 million people who are stateless – living without a nationality. Around 50% of refugees, displaced or stateless populations are women and girls. Of the 22.5 million refugees worldwide, over 50% are children.

Some migrants might also be seeking relief from conflict, poverty and disasters, but there is an important distinction under international law between “refugees” and “migrants”. A well-established international law regime underpins international refugee protection. 

Refugees, migrants, displaced and stateless people are frequently confronted with legal challenges. IDLO believes that the rule of law, properly understood and applied, is essential to the protection of vulnerable populations and the realization of international refugee and human rights law, be it in countries of origin, transit or destination. IDLO is committed to empowering refugees, migrants, and other vulnerable populations, and continues to explore ways to best support them and their host communities.

Supporting the return, reintegration and protection of Somali IDPs and refugees

Somalia constitutes a country of origin, destination, transit, and return for large movements of people across the Horn of Africa. Movement is driven by the intersecting challenges of protracted and persistent conflict, failing systems of governance, and limited employment and livelihood opportunities. More than 2.1 million Somalis live in protracted displacement, with 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and an additional 1 million Somalis hosted as refugees in countries in the immediate region.

IDLO D-G meets UN's SRSG for International Migration, Louise Arbour

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Key Initiatives

  • Somalia constitutes a country of origin, destination, transit, and return for large movements of people across the Horn of Africa. Movement is driven by the intersecting challenges of protracted and persistent conflict, failing systems of governance, and limited employment and livelihood opportunities. More than 2.1 million Somalis live in protracted displacement, with 1.1 million internally displaced persons (IDPs) and an additional 1 million Somalis hosted as refugees in countries in the immediate region.

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