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​​​​​​​​​​​​Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons

About the mandate

Internally displaced persons may face discrimination and obstacles to fully enjoy their human rights because of their displacement. This mandate was created to:

  • Address the complex problem of internal displacement, in particular by mainstreaming the human rights of the internally displaced into all relevant parts of the United Nations system;
  • Work towards strengthening the international response to the complex problem of internal displacement due to reasons including armed conflict, generalized violence, human rights violations and disasters; and
  • To engage in coordinated international advocacy and action for improving protection and respect of the human rights of internally displaced persons, while continuing and enhancing inclusive dialogue with Governments, intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organizations and other relevant actors.

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons is an independent human rights expert appointed by the United Nations Human Rights Council. The first Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons was appointed in September 2010, with the same functions as the former Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons. The mandate was most recently renewed in 2019, through Resolution A/HRC/RES/41/15.

Learn more about the mandate

Current mandate holder

Cecilia Jimenez-Damary Cecilia Jimenez-Damary of the Philippines was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2016 and assumed the mandate on 1 November 2016. She is a lawyer in human rights and international humanitarian law specialised in forced displacement and migration. Ms. Jimenez-Damary has over three decades of experience in NGO human rights advocacy for the Asia-Pacific region and teaching experience as an adjunct professor of international human rights and humanitarian law. Ms. Jimenez-Damary previously acted as Senior Legal Adviser and Trainer with the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) in Geneva, as the National Director of the IDP Project of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, and as the government representative to the Philippine Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission for the Bangsamoro. Read Ms. Jimenez-Damary’s full biography.

Latest thematic reports

Prevention of arbitrary displacement in situations of armed conflict and generalized violence: This report, presented at the General Assembly’s 76th session in 2021, analyses the international legal standards on the prohibition of and obligation to prevent arbitrary displacement and their relevance to the response to internal displacement across the displacement cycle. The Special Rapporteur discusses the importance of well-designed and well-implemented laws, policies, programmes and durable solutions processes that are grounded in human rights for the effective prevention of arbitrary displacement. View report page | View document A/76/169

Housing, land and property issues in the context of internal displacement: This report, presented at the Human Rights Council’s 47th session in 2021, examines housing, land and property issues in the context of internal displacement. It analyses how these issues can drive displacement, be a consequence of it and be an obstacle to durable solutions. The Special Rapporteur looks at the impact of these issues on the human rights of internally displaced persons and how they can be addressed. View document A/HRC/47/37  

Internal displacement in the context of the slow-onset adverse effects of climate change: This report, presented at the General Assembly’s 75th session in 2020, examines internal displacement in the context of the slow-onset adverse effects of climate change and analyses the impacts of this type of displacement on the enjoyment of human rights by internally displaced persons. View report page | View document A/75/207

Persons with disabilities in the context of internal displacement: This report, presented at the Human Rights Council’s 44th session in 2020, examines the specific experiences of persons with disabilities in the context of displacement. It also analyses the obstacles to the equal enjoyment of their rights and recommends actions to ensure inclusive protection, assistance and durable solutions. View report page | View document A/HRC/44/41

Latest country reports

Mission to Iraq (15 to 23 February 2020)

View document A/HRC/44.41/Add.1


Latest news


More press releases Special Rapporteur and Former Special Representative.

Activities

Virtual side event to the UN General Assembly on the prevention of arbitrary displacement in armed conflict and generalized violence
4 November 2021

Special Rapporteur presents report on prevention of arbitrary displacement to the UN General Assembly Third Committee
27 October 2021

Joint Statement – Humanitarians protecting people in the climate change emergency
19 August 2021

Statement by Principals of the Inter-Agency Standing Committee on Gender-Based Violence in Tigray region of Ethiopia 
23 March 2021

Joint Press Statement on Honduras: UN and IACHR experts call for the immediate adoption of a law on the protection of internally displaced persons (in Spanish)
27 January 2021

Prevention, Protection and Solutions for Internally Displaced Persons: GP20 Plan of Action
2018-2020

Intersessional Seminar on human rights and internally displaced persons mandated by the Human Rights Council
29 October 2020

UN General Assembly online side event on Internal displacement in the context of climate change: Advancing a human rights-based approach to prevention, response and solutions
20 October 2020

Joint Press Statement on Ukrainian resolution on voting as a key step towards guaranteeing the rights of displaced persons
(Also in Russian | Ukrainian - PDF)
16 June 2020

View all activities

Former mandate holders

Dr. Chaloka Beyani (Zambia)
2010-2016

Mr. Walter Kälin (Switzerland)
2004 - 2010

Mr. Francis Deng (Sudan)
1992-2004