January 2009, Jabalia, Gaza Strip. Camp built by the Palestine Red Crescent for families whose houses were destroyed during Israeli military operations.
The displacement of people within their own country is one of the gravest humanitarian consequences of armed conflicts and violence. According to one estimate, nearly 26 million people are internally displaced around the globe, many of them by conflict.
Internal displacement is often the direct result of violations of international humanitarian law (IHL). Despite the fact that IHL is legally binding on both State and non-State actors, many of its rules are disregarded. Direct attacks on civilian communities, general lack of security and the destruction of livelihoods continue to force innumerable civilians to flee their homes.
The ICRC, together with its partners from the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, puts major emphasis on protecting and assisting those who have been uprooted by war, as well as on supporting the communities hosting them.
The pictures in this collection, taken in conflict areas over the past year, give an insight into the challenges faced today in assisting populations affected by internal displacement.
Special report: Internal displacement in armed conflict: facing up to the challenges