Internally Displaced Persons

16 September-27 October 2015 (E07315) | Closed
Instructor: Saeed Ullah Khan

This e-learning course provides an overview of the institutions and mechanisms that serve to protect IDPs. The course examines contemporary IDP situations around the globe with practical and operational lenses, providing participants with tools and skills to improve the quality of intervention and analysis.

There are some 27.5 million internally displaced people (IDPs) in more than 50 countries around the world—a population more than double the number of refugees worldwide. IDPs have been forced to leave their homes in search of safety; either fleeing armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights violations or natural disasters. They are often more vulnerable to rights abuses than other migrant groups because there are fewer international and national legal instruments that apply directly to IDPs. They also tend not to receive the same international recognition and subsequent protection that refugees do because they have not crossed an international border. While scholars, institutions and international organizations have increasingly focused on IDPs, there are still many unanswered questions, and humanitarian and human rights responses continue to seek better ways of understanding and responding to the needs of IDPs.

Course structure

This certificate course involves approximately 30 hours of reading, on-line working groups, interaction among students and instructors, webinars, quizzes and a writing assignment, and is offered over a 6-week period. The course will integrate active and participatory learning approaches within activities and assignments, with an emphasis on reflective and collaborative learning. The maximum number of course participants is 25. Students who successfully complete the course will receive a Certificate of Participation. It is also possible to audit the course.

Course outline

Week 1. Introduction to IDPs: concepts, history and overview (including IDPs vis-à-vis other groups of forced migrants)
Week 2. Human rights and protection concerns
Week 3. Institutional evolution, legal and practical tools, including the Guiding Principles and the cluster approach
Week 4. IDPs and the durable solutions
Week 5. Case studies and regional responses
Week 6. Challenges, global trends and the future of IDP protection

About the instructor: Saeed Ullah Khan

Saeed Ullah Khan Saeed Ullah Khan has extensive experience in forced migration and related issues in the humanitarian field. Originally from Pakistan, he has worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, International Rescue Committee and other organisations in Somalia, Kosovo, Tanzania, Burundi, Kenya, Georgia, Jordan, Afghanistan and Pakistan – which has provided him with first-hand experience in some of the major emergency situations in the last decade. He currently works as an independent consultant and advisor on humanitarian issues with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation in Pakistan. Prior to this, he worked as Country Director with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Pakistan, managing an annual response of USD 24 million for IDPs, refugees and returnees. He is actively involved in the development of forced migration strategies in Pakistan for different INGOs and donor agencies. Mr. Khan is a World Bank Robert McNamara Fellow and a British Commonwealth Scholar. He holds an MA in Development Economics from the University of Sussex (UK) and received advanced training from Oxford and Harvard Universities. He is also the instructor of HREA’s Forced Migration e-learning course.

Who should apply

The course is aimed at practitioners and professionals who want to gain knowledge on internal displacement and internally displaced persons; staff of inter-governmental organisations such as UNHCR; NGO staff members and service providers. Participants should have a good written command of English and have high competence and comfort with computer and Internet use. HREA aims to ensure equal gender and geographical distribution across the selected participants.


Tuition fee for participants: US$ 575 (after 1 June 2015: US$ 675); tuition for auditors: US$ 215 (US$ 250 after 1 June 2015). Payments can be made online with major credit cards (Discover, MasterCard, Visa), PayPal, bank transfer (additional fee applies) and money transfer (Western Union, MoneyGram). Bulk rates are available. Payments are due upon registration.

How to register

Registration is closed.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about HREA’s e-learning courses.