There is an ever-growing number of internally displaced persons (IDPs) living in Europe: according to reliable sources, a total of over 3,4 million, which includes 1,3 million in Ukraine, 620 000 in Azerbaijan, 260 000 in Georgia and 210 000 in Cyprus.
In some cases, such as Cyprus and Azerbaijan, the displacements occurred for the most part decades ago; in Georgia, new displacements within the last few years have added to long-standing ones; in the case of Ukraine, displacements are more recent and continuing today.
In most if not every one of these situations, there is little indication that the displaced persons will be able to return to their homes in the foreseeable future.
On an international level, the UN’s Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement are the primary general reference on how to respond to the humanitarian needs of IDPs. On the national level different countries have addressed their domestic situations in various ways, accruing valuable experience and learning important lessons that could inform policy and action elsewhere.
The Parliamentary Assembly should examine the action taken to address the humanitarian needs of the IDPs in different national situations, with a view to drawing general policy conclusions and making recommendations to member States for improving their responses to and management of such situations in future.