Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement

Report to the UN Human Rights Council of the
Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, Chaloka Beyani

26 December 2011

Editor's note: The full report is currently available in Arabic, ChineseEnglish, French, Russian and Spanish.

Human Rights Council
Nineteenth session
Agenda item 3
Promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political,
economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development

Summary
This report, submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 14/6, provides an account of the activities of the mandate and the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, during the reporting period. It also provides a thematic analysis of the particular situation of internally displaced persons living outside of camps or compact settlements, and whose assistance and protection needs are often neglected. The Special Rapporteur examines the various factors responsible for this situation, the particular nature of displacement in urban contexts, the role of host communities and local authorities, and offers recommendations for a more effective, systematized and equitable response to internally displaced persons outside camps, and the host communities assisting them.

I. Introduction
1.    The present report by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, is submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 14/6. The first part of this report provides an account of the activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur since his last report to the Human Rights Council, which detailed his mandate priorities.

2.    The second part of this report provides a thematic analysis of the particular situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) living outside of camps, and whose assistance and protection needs are often neglected. This was one of the four mandate priorities identified by the Special Rapporteur in his last report to this Council. The Special Rapporteur highlights why IDPs outside camps require specific interventions by humanitarian and development actors, and details three specific areas of focus, namely, IDPs in urban contexts; relationships with host communities; and the role of local authorities. The report offers recommendations for a more systematized and equitable response to internally displaced persons outside camps, and the host communities assisting them. The recommendations and approaches suggested in this thematic report are founded on the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement (Guiding Principles) and in international human rights standards.

II. Achievements and activities of the mandate
A. Strengthening the normative frameworks on the basis of the Guiding Principles

3.    The Special Rapporteur is pleased to report that the Guiding Principles continue to represent an “important international framework for the protection of internally displaced persons”.[1] The authority of the Guiding Principles has more recently been reaffirmed in General Assembly resolution 66/165, which welcomes their increasing promotion and application, and encourages all relevant actors to make use of them when dealing with situations of internal displacement, including development partners and individual States in the development of domestic legislation and policies.[2]

4.    Recognizing the effects of climate change as contributing to environmental degradation and extreme weather events, and resulting human displacement, the same resolution encourages the Special Rapporteur to continue exploring, with all relevant stakeholders the “human rights implications and dimensions of disaster-induced internal displacement with a view to supporting member States in their efforts to build local resilience and capacity to prevent displacement or to provide assistance and protection to those who are forced to flee.”[3] This is consistent with the efforts being undertaken by this mandate, including, the development of the revised Operational Guidelines on the Protection of Persons in Situations of Natural Disasters (Operational Guidelines), presented as an addendum to this Council in 2011, and formally endorsed by the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC).[4] Since then, these Operational Guidelines have been widely disseminated, translated into a number of languages, and are increasingly being used by relevant stakeholders for operational guidance in the field, and as a key reference and training tool for situations relating to natural disasters.[5] Moreover, the Special Rapporteur dedicated his thematic report to the sixty-sixth session of the General Assembly (A/66/285) to climate change and internal displacement, in which he highlighted the dynamic and types of internal displacement triggered by the effects of climate change, and provided guidance on the application of the Guiding Principles to such situations.

5.    The Guiding Principles have also either been integrated into or served as the key reference in the formulation of regional and domestic frameworks to address internal displacement. For example, in Kenya, the mandate contributed to the development of a draft IDP policy in 2010 which is based on the Guiding Principles, and is currently engaged in supporting the development of a draft IDP Bill. The Special Rapporteur is pleased to note that the Kampala Convention, the ratification of which he has actively been promoting, is also based on the Guiding Principles, and represents the first regional human rights instrument specific to IDPs.


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[1] 2005 World Summit Outcome, General Assembly resolution 60/1, para. 132.

[2] General Assembly resolution 66/165, paras. 2, 7-8, 12-13, 18-20, 24.

[3] Ibid, para. 4.

[4] See A/HRC/16/43/Add.5.

[5] For translations of the Operational Guidelines, see: http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2011/0106_operational_guidelines_nd.aspx; they have been used in trainings, such as the Regional workshop on natural disasters and IDPs, in Fiji, organized by the Brookings-LSE project on internal displacement, 3-6 May 2010.