Lived Trajectories and Agency of Urban Internally Displaced Persons in Ethiopia

October 2019 to September 2024
internally displaced persons
urban studies
Jimma University (Ethiopia)
Research fields
Law and Political Science

Internally displaced persons (IDPs) are forced migrants who remain with in a boundary of their country. These people would be labelled as refugee if they crossed a recognized international boundary. At the end on 2019, more than 50 million people were internally displaced, a record high in history, due to conflict, violence, disaster with Ethiopia being on the top of countries with highest number of IDPs. Despite its magnitude and interrelated consequences to the displaced, host as well as the nations, IDP issue has remained marginal and underrepresented in international humanitarian policy and academic discourse compared to refugees and asylum seekers. Being uprooted forcedly, IDPs experience gross human right violation including loss of property, livelihood, social network, access to basic needs and employment. These consequences are more intense for a constantly increasing urban IDPs who find themselves in already impoverished settings where in addition to resources shortage, ‘informality’ aggravates their plight and makes their adaptation difficult. As they can easily melt into the urban poor, urban IDPs seem to have been invisible to policy makers and thus their living conditions and agency are inconspicuous. The main aim of this qualitative study is exploring the lived experiences and agency strategies of people who fled home due to violence and resettled in urban areas of Ethiopia. Relying on ethnographic research, this PhD work investigates in to the trajectories in the life of IDPs thereby challenge the homogenization of IDP experiences.