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call for input | Special Procedures

Call for input for the HRC56 thematic report on climate change and internal displacement

Issued by

Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons

Deadline

01 April 2024

Purpose: To inform the report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons to the 56th session of the Human Rights Council
Background

The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs), Ms. Paula Gaviria-Betancur, invites all representatives of States, including national and local authorities, national human rights institutions, human rights defenders, civil society organizations, academics, UN agencies, internally displaced persons, host communities, and other stakeholders to share their views and thoughts on the questions detailed below, which she will address in her forthcoming report to the 56th session of the Human Rights Council.

Objectives
The Special Rapporteur’s report will focus on planned relocations of people in the context of the adverse effects of climate change and disasters. For the purposes of this report, planned relocations are understood as a planned process in which groups of persons move or are assisted to move away from their homes or places of temporary residence, are settled in a new and safer location, and provided with the conditions for rebuilding their lives[1]. The report will consider planned relocations conducted to protect people from risks and impacts related to disasters, environmental change and climate-related hazards and vulnerabilities.

  • Projections show that displacement in the context of slow and sudden onset disasters will increase in the coming years as climate change intensifies[2]. Climate and weather extremes are already driving displacement around the globe, generating and perpetuating vulnerability. Well planned relocations are one climate adaptation measure that can contribute to durable solutions if human rights are protected, communities are at the center in all phases of the process and funding is sufficient.

Former mandate holders on the human rights of internally displaced persons have introduced planned relocations in their reports on climate change and internal displacement (A/66/285 and A/64/214), as well as internal displacement in the context of the slow-onset adverse effects of climate change (A/75/2017). The Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing will present a report on resettlement, which includes planned relocations, to the Human Rights Council in March 2024[3].

Building on these valuable contributions, the report will focus on contexts of disasters, environmental change and climate change and aims to:

  • Identify key human rights challenges posed by planned relocation processes;
  • Take stock of relevant laws and policies at the national, regional, international levels;
  • Share the experiences of people relocated and their views on how the full enjoyment of human rights can be ensured in contexts of planned relocation processes; and,
  • Propose a human rights-based approach to planned relocations and identify the human rights principles that should underpin such movements of persons and communities.
Key questions and types of input/comments sought

Human rights impacts of planned relocations

  1. Please describe through concrete examples the critical challenges and human rights impacts of ongoing or already implemented planned relocation processes in the context of disasters and climate change in your country or your geographical area of interest. Please provide information on:
    1. Whether relocated persons feel they restored or improved their livelihoods, living standard, access to land and property, safety and security and ability to practice their culture 6 months, 1 year, 5 years following relocation;
    2. Whether host communities (if applicable) were able to maintain their pre-existing livelihood and living standards or attain that of relocated persons, whichever is higher;
    3. Impacts on civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights of relocated persons and those who stay behind in place of origin.
  2. Please provide information on successful practices and examples of collaboration with affected communities to identify and address the impacts of planned relocations on livelihoods, housing, education, access to public services, food and water, physical and mental health as well as the communal impacts of loss of land, social cohesion, local knowledge and culture.

Legal, policy and institutional frameworks

  1. Please describe any measures, including policies, legislation, practices, strategies, or institutional arrangements that your government or the government(s) in your area of geographical interest have used or have available at the regional, national or sub-national level to conduct planned relocations and/or policy frameworks to prevent arbitrary displacement. Please also identify institutional and governance gaps.
  2. Please outline whether the available legal and policy frameworks foresee options for persons who did not wish to relocate as well as assistance, remedies for anticipated economic, non-economic, indirect and long-term losses that relocated persons will incur, and remedies following relocation for unanticipated losses.

Engagement of communities and regional and international actors

  1. Please indicate how the group(s) to be relocated were informed, consulted and enabled to participate in decisions on whether, when, where and how the planned relocation was to occur. Please also explain how people who wished to stay behind at the site of origin and people who had already moved away prior to planned relocation and may also wish to join at new site, were informed and consulted in the process. As well as information on any challenges or obstacles to the meaningful participation of affected communities in the planned relocation process.
  2. Please provide information on how regional and international actors and organizations were engaged in the planned relocation process.

Consideration of specific needs of relocated and affected populations

  1. Please provide information on how the specific rights, needs, circumstances, customs, social bonds and vulnerabilities of relocated persons were taken into account and addressed in all phases of planned relocation in your country or your areas of geographical interest. Please include considerations linked to socio-economic, health and demographic characteristics, special attachment to land and members of groups in vulnerable situations, including women, girls, minorities, older persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTI+ persons, Indigenous Peoples, displaced persons, migrants, renters and informal settlers.

Data collection, analysis, and availability

  1. Please describe any quantitative and qualitative data as well as frameworks, mechanisms and tools that exist in your country to monitor, assess, measure, calculate, report on and evaluate the impacts of planned relocations on relocated persons and affected communities, including over the long term, and to map future needs given climate change forecasts.
  2. Please share data on the process and impacts of planned relocations on relocated persons and other affected groups, including the effects on members of groups in vulnerable situations, including women, girls, minorities, older persons, persons with disabilities, LGBTI+ persons, Indigenous Peoples, displaced persons, migrants, renters and informal settlers.

Recommendations

  1. Please provide specific recommendations on how to address the critical challenges and impacts that emerge during planned relocations in the context of disasters and the adverse effects of climate change to ensure they are people-centered, anchored in human rights-based approaches and preserve cultural identity. Please include actions to be taken at the local, national, regional, and international levels, as well as by different groups of stakeholders: governments, communities to be relocated, potential host communities, development agencies, financing institutions, and others.

Please provide any additional information you believe would be useful on the full enjoyment of human rights before, during and after planned relocations in the context of climate change.


[1] UNHCR, Georgetown University and IOM, 2015, “A toolbox: Planning Relocations to Protect People from Disasters and Environmental Change”. Available at: https://www.refworld.org/pdfid/596f15774.pdf 

[2] IPCC, 2023: Summary for Policymakers. In: Climate Change 2023: Synthesis Report. Contribution of Working Groups I, II and III to the Sixth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Available at: https://www.ipcc.ch/report/ar6/syr/downloads/report/IPCC_AR6_SYR_SPM.pdf 

[3] Available at: OHCHR | Call for inputs: Resettlement as a human rights issue.

Next Steps

Written contributions not exceeding 2,500 words in length should be sent in English, French, and Spanish in Word format to [email protected]

Please indicate “Input for SR IDPs - report on relocation” in the email subject line.

Postal address:
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland.

Please include references to reports, text of legislation, policy documents, judgements, statistical information with hyperlinks to their full text or source or attach them to your submission.

Please note that inputs received after the initial deadline of 1 April 2024, may not be taken into account for the preparation of the thematic report to be presented at the 56th session of the Human Rights Council.
All submissions will be posted on this webpage, except where confidentiality is explicitly requested.

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