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Virtual Event | Human Mobility, Human Rights and Climate Change at the Human Rights Council

5 October 2021, 1:30pm – 3:00pm CEST

Register online to join this event taking place on the occasion of the 48th session of the UN Human Rights Council.

Human mobility, human rights and climate change are interlinked. The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, and the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration, among other international instruments and processes, recognize human mobility in the context of the adverse effects of climate change—including displacement, migration and planned relocation—as a humanitarian, development and human rights challenge.

Human mobility in a changing climate has been placed explicitly within the scope of human rights discussions through a number of  reports and previous UN Human Rights Council (HRC) events, including a side event organized by ACT Alliance, Caritas Internationalis, the International Catholic Migration Commission, the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and Secours Catholique-Caritas France on the occasion of the 45th session of the HRC (September 2020), titled “Cross-border Human Mobility and Human Rights in the Context of Disasters, Climate Change and Environmental Degradation”. For more information, download the concept note on the right or watch the recording.

This year’s event, organized by the PDD and the Permanent Mission of Luxembourg to the UN in Geneva, on the occasion of the 48th session of the HRC, aims to put the human rights of persons displaced in the context of the adverse effects of climate change, and in particular slow-onset events, back on the agenda of the HRC. It aims to provide a space for discussion of the challenges of implementing a human rights-based approach to avert, minimize and address displacement, and of existing effective practices. Building on the discussions and recommendations emerging in the HRC and other fora on the issue, the event aims to formulate recommendations to States, civil society and other relevant stakeholders to better understand and address the specific protection needs of persons displaced internally and across borders due to the adverse effects of climate change, from a human rights perspective.

It is critical, now more than ever, to address these issues. 2020 has seen unprecedented volumes of internal displacement due to the adverse effects of climate change. The Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre’s Global Report on Internal Displacement 2021 estimates that out of 40.5 million new internal displacements recorded around the world in 2020, 30 million occurred due to the adverse effects of climate change. Looking forward, in the recent report Groundswell Part 2: Acting on Internal Climate Migration, the World Bank projects that rising sea levels, water scarcity and declining crop productivity could compel 216 million people to move within their own countries by 2050.

Both Asia-Pacific and Sub Saharan Africa are, year after year, among the most affected regions, and therefore this event will focus on experiences and practices from these two areas. Join us to hear from:

  • Mr Jean Asselborn, Minister of Foreign Affairs for Luxembourg;
  • Ms Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons;
  • Ms Runa Khan, Founder and Executive Director of the NGO Friendship in Bangladesh;
  • Mr Laouali Labo, Permanent Representative of Niger to the UN in Geneva;
  • Mr Anare Leweniqila, Deputy Permanent Representative of Fiji to the UN in Geneva.

The event will be moderated by Prof. Walter Kaelin, Envoy of the Chair of the PDD.

The event is scheduled to last 1.5 hours and will take place virtually. It will be conducted in English, with French interpretation available. Following the event, a recording will be available on the PDD YouTube channel.

The event is co-sponsored by: Fiji (as Chair of the PDD); the European Union; France; the International Organization for Migration; the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees; the Office of the High Commissioner of Human Rights; the Geneva Climate Change Consultation Group; the Centre for International Environmental Law; the International Catholic Migration Commission; and Secours Catholique-Caritas France.

Useful Links and Documents

Download the Event Flyer

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Download the Event Concept Note

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Learn more about PDD’s work in our Workplan 2019-2022:

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Contact Us

International Environment House 2
7-9 Chemin de Balexert
1219 Châtelaine, Geneva

+41 22 917 5483

Media Enquiries

Chirine El Labbane
Communication Officer

+41 79 542 18 09

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