Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2017, 08:56 GMT

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

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 - Liberia, 19 April 2012, available at: [accessed 18 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 IDPsUndetermined
Percentage of total populationUndetermined
Start of current displacement situation1989
Peak number of IDPs (Year)500,000 (2003)
New displacementUndetermined
Causes of displacementArmed conflict, generalised violence, human rights violations
Human development index182

Up to 500,000 people were internally displaced in Liberia during the 14-year civil war which ended in 2003 with the Accra Comprehensive Peace Agreement. In 2011, the number of remaining IDPs was unknown. There had been little or no follow-up on the few thousand people who remained in former camps after the return process came to an end in 2007, or on those who found refuge in Monrovia.

At the height of the conflict, the population of Monrovia nearly tripled as waves of IDPs arrived from conflict-affected rural areas. It is likely that the majority of slum dwellers in the city in 2011 had been IDPs.

By the end of 2011, the Liberian government and its international counterparts considered that the internal displacement situation had ended. Nonetheless, it is unclear how many IDPs have found durable solutions. In urban areas, they have remained at risk of eviction because their tenure of slum dwellings is not protected; in rural areas, continuing disputes over the use and ownership of land in return areas have prevented their return becoming sustainable.

The failure to resolve these issues has stood in the way of long-term security. Gender-based violence against women and girls has remained widespread and people's access to justice has remained limited.

In October 2010, Liberia's Land Commission convened a conference to formulate guidelines for the development of an urban land policy, as a first step to address the land issues in the country. At the end of 2011, the policy was yet to be developed.

In October 2011, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was reelected to a second term in office. Liberia adopted the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement into national legislation in 2004, and was among the first countries to sign the Kampala Convention in October 2009.

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