Forced migration or displacement

In studying forced or involuntary migration—sometimes referred to as forced or involuntary displacement—a distinction is often made between conflict-induced and disaster-induced displacement. Displacement induced by conflict is typically referred to as caused by humans, whereas natural causes typically underlay displacement caused by disasters. The definitions of these concepts are useful, but the lines between them may be blurred in practice because conflicts may arise due to disputes over natural resources and human activity may trigger natural disasters such as landslides.

Countries faced with forced displacement—induced by humans or nature—collect data on displaced populations. Such data are typically collected through a combination of population censuses, household surveys, border counts, administrative records and beneficiary registers. 

At the international level, data on forced migration are collected and/or compiled by various intergovernmental organizations (IGOs), such as the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM), as well as non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC). 

Last updated on
9 February 2018