Introduction to the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs)


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 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, continued 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/32/11, the Special Rapporteur is charged with:

1) Addressing 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;

2) Working towards strengthening the international response to the complex problem of situations of internal displacement, and engaging in coordinated international advocacy and action for improving protection and respect of the human rights of the internally displaced, while continuing and enhancing intergovernmental, regional and non-governmental organization and other relevant actions.

She was also requested to continue efforts to further the dissemination, promotion and application of the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (E.CN.4/1998/53/Add.2).