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Urban Displacement

Relatively little is known about the precise numbers of those forcibly displaced into urban settings, their demographics, basic needs or protection problems.


People move into urban environments for a multiplicity of reasons. For many of these people, it is not a matter of choice. They may choose to be displaced in cities rather than in camps but they did not choose to be displaced, and therefore they may have rights to protection and assistance under humanitarian law.

For internally displaced people the situation is especially confused, as they are likely to be living among compatriots facing similar difficulties and challenges - whether city-born residents or, for example, rural-urban economic migrants. The humanitarian system will have to engage more closely with this reality in the future.

This resource summary complements Forced Migration Review Issue 34, February 2010: Adapting to Urban Displacement.

Provided below are links to related key resources, websites and documents exploring contemporary debate on these issues, as well as links to wider issues concerned with human rights and displacement.

FMO Resources


Selected full-text documents (for more, search in the Digital Library)

Web Resources

Selected web-based information resources (for more, search the FMO website)

Relevant Organizations

Contact details for relevant organizations (for more, search in the Organizations Directory)

Related FMO resource summaries

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creative commons logo (CC) BY-NC-ND This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.

Image from the cover of Forced Migration Review issue 34

Cover of Forced Migration Review issue 34: Urban Displacement

Last updated Sep 06, 2011