Launch of RSQ Special Issue: Why do we need new research on internal displacement?

21 January 2021

The virtual launch event, held on January 21, drew on the RSQ Special Issue to debate the state of research on internal displacement. 

The new Refugee Survey Quarterly (RSQ) Special Issue, guest-edited by two members of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General's High Level Panel on Internal Displacement, is now out with over 20 original peer-reviewed articles from researchers, practitioners and policy-makers. Its launch event, hosted by the Internal Displacement Research Programme (IDRP) at the University of London on January 21 and moderated by Mark Yarnell, Research and Report Officer at the Panel's Secretariat, saw over 100 participants joining virtually to engage with Special Issue authors and the Panel’s Secretariat members to debate the state of IDP research.

In his opening remarks, Professor David Cantor, RSQ Editor-in-Chief and IDRP Director noted that while today’s IDP research is “scarce and fragmentary,” there is positive academic interest in the topic with the RSQ Special Issue representing a “major highpoint.”

He posed the questions: “Why is there so little research on the topic of internal displacement? And why does it matter for academic debate and practical actions?”

Three of the Special Issue authors presented their findings in the event, followed by a number of interventions from the floor. Romola Adeola from the University of Pretoria spoke to the issue of IDP laws and policies while Ben Hudson from the University of Exeter discussed how state-to-state dialogue could be enhanced on internal displacement. Ligia Magalhaes of the Mexican Commission for the Defense and Promotion of Human Rights delivered a presentation on the role of civil society in fostering political will to address internal displacement.

In closing the launch, the Head of the Panel’s Secretariat George Okoth-Obbo thanked all the RSQ authors and underlined the importance of their work in informing the Panel’s work and the direction of future policy debates on internal displacement. “The thematic areas of the Special Issue are questions that the Panel is exploring,” he highlighted.

“This collaboration will not end with this publication. I look forward to the time where there is a platform to propagate more systematically on IDP issues,“ concluded Okoth-Obbo.

The Refugee Survey Quarterly Special Issue was guest-edited by Greta Zeender, Head of Research and Outcomes, and Mark Yarnell, Research and Report Officer, of the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement.

Click here to watch the webinar.

Click here to read the RSQ Special Issue (accessible for free until the end of March 2021).


The Refugee Survey Quarterly (RSQ) Special Issue is accessible online for free until the end of March.