Last Updated: Thursday, 28 July 2016, 12:37 GMT

Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Liberia

Publisher Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC)
Publication Date 29 April 2013
Cite as Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (NRC/IDMC), Global Overview 2012: People internally displaced by conflict and violence - Liberia, 29 April 2013, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/517fb06018.html [accessed 28 July 2016]
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.
Number of IDPsUndetermined
Percentage of total populationUndetermined
Start of displacement situation1989
Peak number of IDPs (year)500,000 (2003)
New displacement in 2012Undetermined
Causes of displacementx International armed conflict
✓ Internal armed conflict
x Deliberate policy or practice of arbitrary displacement
✓ Communal violence
x Criminal violence
x Political violence
Human development index174
Kampala ConventionSigned

Liberia's civil war caused the internal displacement of around 500,000 people between 1989 and 2003. Many IDPs sought refuge in the capital Monrovia, where the population rose from 600,000 to nearly one million during the conflict. Large numbers set up spontaneous settlements on public land in and around Monrovia, while others took refuge in camps or with host families. By 2007 most IDPs able to return had done so, and by 2011 the government and its international partners considered the country's internal displacement situation to be largely resolved.

As of the end of 2012, the number of IDPs still to achieve a durable solution to their displacement was unknown. Return assistance programmes focused exclusively on IDPs living in camps, and those living in unofficial settlements in Monrovia did not benefit, leaving them vulnerable to forced eviction and unemployment.

IDPs who returned home to rural areas continued to face challenges in resuming their livelihoods in 2012, often as a result of unresolved land and property issues made worse by ethnic tensions. In November, the Land Commission issued a policy statement, which will form the basis for upcoming land law reform. It sought to clarify and secure land tenure rights, whether statutory or customary, and is a positive step toward clarifying land rights in rural areas. It will not, however, address the situation of IDPs living on public land in and around Monrovia, as they do not have ownership rights.

As of the end of 2012, Liberia was still to ratify the Kampala Convention.

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