Returned IDPs and refugees in 2017, first 10 countries

Source: UNHCR


Refugees are persons who were forced to flee from their homes and who have crossed international borders. Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are individuals who were forced to flee from their homes but who remain within their respective countries. In 2017, some refugees and IDPs have returned to their homes thanks to improved security and economical conditions or due to more restrictive laws in host countries. 


Iraq (1.547.458): The liberation of Mosul and the withdrawal of IS from northern Iraq has triggered enhanced security conditions and allowed the return of refugees and IDPs to their homes. Nonetheless, many small towns and cities remain lifeless.

Syria (674.399): A notable trend of returnees has been registered in 2017. Some of these people were internally displaced and are now moving to their hometown. The UNHCR warns the conditions for a safe return are not yet in place.

Nigeria (664.541): Relevant flows of Nigerian refugees have returned from neighbouring countries of asylum, in particular Cameroon. These people return often under the circumstances deemed by UNHCR to fall short of international standards. A rising number of people is coming back to Nigeria from Libya.

Sudan (397.912): A considerable number of Sudanese are returning to their homeland, also following a tightening of rules on migration in some MENA states, including Saudi Arabia. Some Sudanese are also returning to Darfur, an area hit by violent conflict in the past few years.

Philippines (318.483): A sudden and significant number of Filipinos repatriated from Malaysia, and the sustained economic growth of the country (+6,5% y/y GDP in 2018) are the main drivers explaining the phenomena.

Pakistan (281.640): Returning migration to Pakistan has multifaceted reasons. It ranges from the return of naturalised citizens and those born abroad to the ‘voluntary assisted returns’ of migrants without regular status. Pakistan receives returnees from the Middle East, as well as from Europe and North America.

Democratic Republic of Congo (255.663): The Democratic Republic of Congo has the largest displaced population in Africa with more than 4.49 million internally displaced persons, including 2.7 million children. The movement of people and resettlement of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) are recurring in the country.

Chad (167.637): Chadian citizens who were living in the Central African Republic for generations were forced to return to Chad due to the conflict in that country. Many of them are at risk of a statelessness status.

Libya (149.883): The eradication of IS presence in some strongholds and the de-escalation in the frequency of terrorist attacks against civilian targets provides reasons for the resettlement of people in their home places.

Yemen (125.634): Conflict in Yemen has left 22.2 million people, 75 per cent of the population, in need of humanitarian assistance. The recent increase of security conditions in some areas has created the conditions for the return of people. However, UNHCR estimates about 2 million people of Internally Displaced Persons, 89% of them for more than a year.