The Philippines

The Philippines, in particular the southern island of Mindanao, experiences high levels of internal displacement every year. The drivers of displacement causes are multiple and often inter-linked. They include frequent natural disasters, development projects, in particular mining, armed conflict between the government and a number of non-state armed groups, clan-related violence and criminal violence. Mindanao is the poorest and most under-developed region of the country and the conflict there is rooted in poor governance and discrimination against indigenous and Moro (Muslim) communities. Recurrent waves of conflict and violence have displaced nearly 4 million there since 2000.

In early 2018, the Protection Cluster in the Philippines, led by UNHCR, estimated that nearly 420’000 people were displaced in the country, mainly in Mindanao. The majority, or 312’000 were displaced by armed conflict and violence. Another 107’000 people were forced from their homes by natural disasters.

While most displacement are short-term and localised, with internally displaced people (IDPs) often moving to a neighbouring village, many also remain unable to return due to security concerns, the destruction of their homes or the loss of their livelihoods. Many IDPs end up in protracted displacement with little help from the government and few opportunities to rebuild their lives and to achieve durable solutions. Some end up in limbo in IDP camps or with host communities while others move to urban areas and cities where they hope to find better livelihood or educational opportunities.

Below you will links to photos I have taken while on mission there from 2009 to 2014.


Maguindanao province (2009)


Eastern Mindanao (2012-2013)


Zamboanga (2014)