The Conversation: Policies should better support people trapped in long-term refugee situations

People that are forced to live away from their homes for five years or more – such as refugees or internally displaced persons (IDPs) – are said to live in a situation of protracted displacement. In 2018 it was reported that 78% of all refugees live in protracted displacement.

This is a very challenging state. Most are vulnerable and highly dependent on external support from governments, NGOs or relatives. They also have insecure legal statuses and don’t have the ability – or opportunity – to rebuild their lives because of scarce economic resources, the legal framework that regulates their lives or societies that don’t welcome them.

In many cases, they can neither return home nor move on to other countries, nor really integrate in the country of reception.

We’ve been carrying out research that explores the experiences and solutions for protracted displaced populations around the world. Specifically, we examine the rules that dictate people’s ability to work, where they live, options for family reunification, and access to accommodation, education and health care.

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