Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) is a vital defense against climate change and displacement, particularly in the current context of increasing numbers of disaster-affected persons. In the last two decades, for example, an estimated 200 million people have been affected every year by natural disasters. A significant portion of the disaster-affected community is also disaster-displaced, making them even more vulnerable to human rights violations. The Operational Guidelines on Human Rights and Natural Disasters, developed by the RSG for Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), provides recommendations to humanitarian organizations on how to ensure that the human rights of those affected by natural disasters are upheld. Yet it is equally important to examine how the risk of natural disasters can be reduced and we need to think about practical steps which can be taken to mitigate the effects of disasters.
The number of natural disasters is increasing and although the international community has been working on DRR for many years, there is much to be done in terms of implementing effective policies. This seminar both raised awareness and encouraged organizations represented to begin or to renew their efforts to reduce the human impact of natural disasters.