Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2017, 11:55 GMT

Global Overview 2011: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Bangladesh

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 19 April 2012
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Global Overview 2011: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Bangladesh, 19 April 2012, available at: [accessed 13 December 2017]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.
Quick facts
Number of IDPsUndetermined
Percentage of total populationUndetermined
Start of current displacement situation1976
Peak number of IDPs (Year)667,000 (2000)
New displacementAt least 600
Causes of displacementDeliberate policy or practice of arbitrary displacement, generalised violence, human rights violations
Human development index146

According to government figures, 128,000 families or some 600,000 people were internally displaced by 20 years of armed conflict in the Chittagong Hill Tracts (CHT), which formally ended in 1997 with the CHT Peace Accord.

The people displaced by the fighting between Bengali settlers backed by the army and indigenous peoples seeking increased self-government were mostly of non-Bengali origin. The Accord granted cultural recognition and a degree of autonomy to indigenous groups, and foresaw the rehabilitation of IDPs, but their situation has not been resolved.

The government established a land commission to settle land disputes and the Task Force on Rehabilitation of Returnee Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons to register and support IDPs, but these institutions have not met their objectives. Meanwhile human rights violations by armed forces members and clashes between indigenous groups and settlers continued into 2011. Though largely undocumented due to reporting restrictions, these violations and clashes displaced many people during the course of the armed conflict. Settlers fled to areas around army camps for safety and assistance, and indigenous people to more remote areas or into the forests, where they had little access to food or basic services such as health care and schools.

In 2011, there was still little information on IDPs' specific needs. The UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples found that people in CHT continued to face arbitrary arrests and sexual harassment at the hands of the security forces. The displaced people among them have also reported that finding shelter is their primary concern, followed by employment, education for their children and sufficient food.

The international community has provided political support but not direct assistance to IDPs in the CHT.

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