In an effort to raise the awareness of Pacific Island States and regional actors on internal displacement caused by natural disasters, the Brookings-LSE Project on Internal Displacement, the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights Regional Office for the Pacific, and the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs Sub-Regional Office for the Pacific convened a one-day conference on Internal Displacement due to Natural Disasters and Climate Change. The conference, held in Suva, Fiji on May 3, 2011, launched the OHCHR report, "Protecting the Human Rights of Internal Displaced Persons in Natural Disaster, Challenges in the Pacific" (PDF)
This conference was followed by a three-day workshop on "Internal Displacement caused by Natural Disasters and Climate Change in the Pacific" which introduced protection issues in natural disasters with a focus on improving the capacity of humanitarian and other actors to incorporate human rights issues and protection in preparing for, responding to, and/or recovering from natural disasters and climate change.
The workshop brought together key players in the field including Red Cross/Red Crescent representatives, government representatives (responsible for disaster relief, disaster risk reduction and/or internal displacement), major national NGOs and civil society representatives, key UN actors, as well as people who personally experienced internal displacement because of natural disasters and climate change.
Unfortunately, the UN Special Rapporteur for the Human Rights of IDPs, Mr. Chaloka Beyani, was unable to attend the workshop but sent words of encouragement and support to participants. The workshop provided a forum to discuss good practices in terms of regional, national, and local monitoring mechanisms of humanitarian response in natural disasters as well as to develop specific recommendations to strengthen policy and action for rights protection at local, national and regional levels.