(23 October 2019) BADIL releases: Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2016-2018

BADIL is proud to announce the release of the 9th installment of its Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS), which focuses on the period between 2016 and 2018.

By the end of 2018, roughly 8.7 million (66.7 percent) of 13.05 million Palestinians worldwide were forcibly displaced persons. Among them are approximately 7.94 million Palestinian refugees and 760,000 IDPs. Despite the current crises and active conflicts in the Arab region and the resultant mass displacement; Palestinians still form the largest and most protracted population of externally displaced refugees.

This extended edition addresses the question of Palestine’s refugees across five chapters. As with previous surveys, the first three chapters contextualize and update the refugee issue. Chapter One provides an overview of the historical and contemporary displacement of Palestinians. Chapter Two highlights the demographic situation, particularly the population size and socio-economic status. And, Chapter Three addresses the international framework for protection of refugees, in general, and that which is uniquely applicable to Palestinian refugees. In the Chapters Four and Five, BADIL turns to the most crucial, yet most marginalized issue to the question of Palestine: the right of return and specifically the practicalities of realizing and implementing return.

In the three years since the last survey, the Palestinian people have experienced an ever more repressive and limited space within which to collectively demand and exercise their national and individual rights. This has been characterized principally by the rapid advancement of Israeli annexation policies in the West Bank, underpinned by ever more repressive apartheid policies throughout Mandatory Palestine, and coupled with the renewed attacks on the rights of Palestinian refugees, particularly in the delegitimization of UNRWA. It is in this context that BADIL elected to focus this survey on the question of return, as a root cause of the ongoing impasse, and an overlooked lens through which a solution might be envisaged and achieved.  

We explore first the legal framework that sets the right of return as one of the fundamental human rights principles to which all persons are entitled, before considering historic and contemporary efforts by the Palestinian people to exercise their right of return. This contextualizes the results of BADIL’s regular thematic field study targeting the perceptions of the Palestinian refugee population, which varied from past surveys in three key respects. Firstly, the target group was widened to include the perceptions of IDPs. Second, the study focused on the perceptions of Palestinian refugee and IDP youth, specifically those between the ages of 18-29. And finally, in addition to performing the traditional face-to-face data collection method,  an online questionnaire was also utilized. The results are nuanced and extensive. Yet, it is BADIL’s aim that this edition will provide essential data and analysis that may pave the way for renewed national and international political discourse on the right of return its implementation in the case of Palestine.

The Survey will be officially launched through a public panel that will take place in the coming weeks. Complete data results from the youth questionnaire will also be published on our website in the near future; along with snapshots, information graphics and articles that will aid in disseminating the information contained in the Survey through different platforms. Please follow BADIL on social media or join our newsletter for more information.

To get your hard copy of the Survey of Palestinian Refugees and Internally Displaced Persons 2016-2018,
please contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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