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Regional dialogue on displacement and climate change

Graphic: Stormy skies above Banda Aceh, Indonesia

NHRIs in the Asia Pacific are invited to take part in an OHCHR-led dialogue exploring how they are responding to displacement caused by climate change

Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights LogoOffice of the High Commissioner for Human Rights
Asia Pacific Forum LogoAsia Pacific Forum

Commissioners and staff of national human rights institutions (NHRIs) in the Asia Pacific are invited to take part in a regional dialogue that will explore their experiences of responding to displacement caused by climate change.

The virtual dialogue, hosted by the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), will be held on 9 November 2020.

Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, will provide a keynote presentation on internal displacement caused by the slow-onset effects of climate change.

Her most recent report to the Human Rights Council, presented in October 2020, focused on the role of NHRIs to monitor, report and promote accountability for climate change-related internal displacement, as well as to support States prevent the conditions that can lead to displacement.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has described climate change as one of the greatest threats facing humanity, with implications for all our human rights. This includes our rights to life, water and sanitation, food, health, housing, education, self-determination, culture and development.

The Asia Pacific region is disproportionately affected by climate change. Many countries, especially small island States, face extreme risks from rising sea levels, king tides, flooding, drought and extreme weather events.

The impacts of climate change – both the slow-onset effects and those resulting from natural disasters – threaten to overwhelm infrastructure, disrupt economies, displace populations and create significant strains for governance.

OHCHR reported that, in 2019, weather-related disasters triggered around 9.6 million new displacements across East Asia and the Pacific, which accounted for most of the disaster displacement recorded worldwide.

South Asia recorded 9.5 million new displacements associated with disasters in 2019, the highest figure since 2012.

The regional dialogue will include presentations from NHRIs in the Asia Pacific, including the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines, describing their efforts to respond to the impact of the climate emergency on local communities.

It will also be an opportunity for NHRIs to share knowledge and build partnerships within and across the sub-regions of the Asia Pacific.

Date: 23 October 2020

QR registration code

To register for the virtual regional dialogue, please complete the form by scanning this QR code or contacting Romchat Wachirarattanakornkul (romchat.wachirarattanakornkul@un.org) for Asia and Robert Vaughan (robert.vaughan@one.un.org) for the Pacific.

Image credits

  1. Stormy skies above Banda Aceh, Indonesia - Arto Marttinen on Unsplash
  2. QR registration code - OHCHR