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Maldives: UN expert visit to study internal displacement and climate change

GENEVA (14 July 2011) – The UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Chaloka Beyani, will visit the Maldives from 16 to 22 July to study issues related to internal displacement, particularly with regard to climate change in the island state.

During his visit, which will be the first by a UN expert on internally displaced persons, Beyani will examine the current status and situation of those who were internally displaced during the 2004 tsunami, assessing in particular the achievement of durable solutions. He will also consider issues relating to risks of potential internal displacement in the future, including environmentally-induced internal displacement such as that caused by climate change.

Beyani will engage in a dialogue with relevant stakeholders on the Strategic National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation 2010 – 2020, an important initiative by the Government of the Maldives, endorsed in June this year.

The Special Rapporteur will meet with Government representatives, members of civil society, UN officials and other stakeholders. He will visit sites of displacement where he will meet affected individuals, as well as areas particularly impacted by the effects of environmental degradation, including land erosion.

Beyani will present preliminary observations at a press conference in Male on 21 July 2011. His full report will be presented to the Human Rights Council in March 2011.

Chaloka Beyani, a Zambian national and professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed as Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010.

Learn more about the mandate and work of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons: http://www2.ohchr.org/english/issues/idp/index.htm

OHCHR Country Page – Maldives: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/MVIndex.aspx

For additional information and press inquiries, please contact Rosa da Costa (Tel. +41 22 917 9140; e-mail: rdacosta@ohchr.org).

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