Imagine waking up today, realizing you have to leave your home simply to survive. You’re forced to leave your family, your friends, your job, and your belongings—all at a moment's notice. Your daily life becomes a constant struggle to find basics like shelter, food, clothing, water, and safety. This nightmare scenario is a reality that millions of people face in armed conflict. Intense fighting, often involving air strikes and shelling in cities, is a primary cause of displacement, whether within or across a country’s borders. While on the move, internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees are often exposed to a myriad of other risks, including sexual and gender-based violence, arbitrary arrest and detention, forced recruitment, and trafficking. Forcibly displaced people are often vulnerable and can remain displaced for decades.
RULES THAT MUST BE RESPECTED
The right to move freely and to choose one’s own residence must be respected. Forcibly displaced people have the right to seek asylum in another country; to satisfactory conditions of shelter, hygiene, health, safety, nutrition, and education; and to have necessary identity documents issued by the authorities. Family members who wish to remain together should not be separated. Voluntary safe return home must be allowed as soon as the reasons for displacement have ended. Internally displaced people can also choose to resettle in another part of their country. Finally, people who have been forcibly displaced have a right to recover the possessions they had to leave behind.
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