Last Updated: Friday, 20 October 2017, 11:43 GMT

Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010 - Kosovo

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 23 March 2011
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Internal Displacement: Global Overview of Trends and Developments in 2010 - Kosovo, 23 March 2011, available at: [accessed 20 October 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 IDPs18,300
Percentage of total population0.9%
Start of current displacement situation1999
Peak number of IDPs (Year)36,000 (2000)
New displacementUndetermined
Causes of displacementGeneralised violence, human rights violations
Human development index

At the end of 2010 there were 18,300 IDPs in Kosovo. Slightly over half were Kosovo Serbs, around 39 per cent Kosovo Albanians, and six per cent from Roma communities. Most Kosovo Serb IDPs were in enclaves in northern Kosovo, where they relied on a parallel system of education, policing, and health care supported by Serbia. Other IDPs remained in locations where their ethnic group were in a majority, but where they had limited freedom of movement and little access to land or livelihoods.

4,500 IDPs were still in collective centres and many of them were particularly vulnerable; a high proportion were older people. They were still living in very harsh conditions in 2010 and received only minimal and intermittent assistance at best.

IDPs belonging to Roma communities were the most marginalised. Those without civil documentation could not register as IDPs and so access housing assistance and other benefits. Many were still in 2010 in informal settlements without electricity, clean water or sewerage.

Ten years after their displacement, only around 18,000 IDPs had returned to their places of origin from within Kosovo, and only 22,000 people from elsewhere in the region. They continued to be put off by the risk of insecurity, the limited freedom of movement, the restricted access to services and livelihoods, and the difficulties in repossessing or rebuilding their homes.

Kosovo's declaration of independence in 2008 created new uncertainty for IDPs in its territory. However, there has been no new displacement, and Serbia, while not recognising the independence, has supported a UN resolution calling for wider cooperation between Serbia and Kosovo. Both the Serbian and Kosovo authorities have supported the construction of homes and social housing to facilitate the local integration of IDPs. Nonetheless, the Kosovo institutions have been criticised for failing to devote the resources needed to enable durable solutions for IDPs.

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