Introduction to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), Dr. Chaloka Beyani
In 1992, the Secretary-General, at the request of the Commission on Human Rights, appointed his first Representative on internally displaced persons. In April 2004, the Commission called upon the Secretary-General to create a new mechanism to build on the work of the prior Representative and to bring a further focus on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs). Accordingly, in September 2004, the Secretary-General appointed Walter Kälin as his new Representative on the human rights of internally displaced persons.
Dr. Chaloka Beyani was subsequently appointed by the Human Rights Council in September 2010 as the new Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, commencing his functions on November 1, 2010. While the title of the mandate holder changed, the functions of the mandate-holder and the mandate itself have remained essentially the same. Dr. Beyani, continues to build upon the work of his predecessors in raising awareness of IDP rights issues, promoting and disseminating the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (E.CN.4/1998/53/Add.2) at the national, regional and international levels, undertaking country missions, convening national and regional seminars, providing support for capacity building of non-governmental organizations and other relevant institutions, and conducting policy-oriented research. The Special Rapporteur's mandate is serviced by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.
According to Human Rights Council Resolution A/HRC/RES/23/8 (June 2013), the Special Rapporteur is charged with:
- engaging in coordinated international advocacy and action for improving protection and respect of the human rights of IDPs,
- continuing and enhancing dialogues with Governments as well as intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations and other relevant actors,
- strengthening the international response to internal displacement, and
- mainstreaming the human rights of IDPs into all relevant parts of the United Nations system.
He was also requested to continue his efforts to further the dissemination, promotion and application of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (E.CN.4/1998/53/Add.2) at the national, regional and international levels.
Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Dr. Chaloka Beyani (Zambia)
Dr. Beyani has taught International Law and Human Rights at the Universities of Zambia (1984-1988), Oxford (1992-1995), and the London School of Economics (1996-2010), where he is currently a senior lecturer in International Law. He has worked and published extensively in the fields of, inter alia: human rights, international criminal law, international humanitarian law, humanitarian assistance, migration, refugees and displaced persons.
He has acted as legal advisor, consultant and expert to a number of United Nations agencies, the European Union, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the African Union. In addition, Dr. Beyani has drafted and negotiated a number of important international instruments including the International Conference on the Great Lakes Region, and the African Union Convention on Internally Displaced Persons (Kampala Convention).