Development-induced displacement and human security: a very short introduction

At least fifteen million people each year are forced to leave their former place of residence as a result of major development projects. It is estimated that large development projects such as dams, roads and exploitation of raw materials led to the displacement of least 300 million people between 1988 and 2008. Alongside natural disasters, economic development is one of the greatest causes of contemporary internal displacement worldwide. The irreversible nature of many displacements caused by development can be compared only with the displacements in consequence of climate change and natural disasters or industrial accidents affecting large territories (such as the Asian tsunami of 2004 or the Chernobyl disaster in 1986). Just as in many cases of desertification, land degradation or shoreline erosion, the construction of large dams or creation of open-pit mines can make it impossible to resettle in the territory.