Addressing Displacement and Building Resilient Migration Pathways
18 May 2022, 09:30am
Side-Event at the International Migration Review Forum
Today, no region is spared from environmental hazards. Sudden- and slow-onset hazards, including extreme heat waves, flooding, and droughts, will only become more frequent in a warming climate.
The adverse effects of climate change are already increasing the frequency and intensity of weather-related hazards and undermining resilience. Millions of people are displaced in the context of disasters around the world, every year. In 2020 alone, 30.7 million new displacements were related to disasters, according to estimates by the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center (IDMC).
As more people become exposed and are vulnerable to the impacts of such hazards, disaster displacement risk is likely to continue to increase. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) projects human mobility patterns will change in response to extreme weather events and climate variability, including slow-onset events and processes such as drought and sea level rise.
Disaster displacement is also recognized as a key human rights, humanitarian and development challenge by the Human Rights Council, Human Rights Treaty Bodies, the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the Agenda for Humanity, the New Urban Agenda and the Global Compact on Refugees. The UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement has affirmed the need to work across development, peace, climate change adaptation and DRR communities to address internal displacement.
In addition, disaster displacement raises multiple protection concerns, undermines development gains, affects human rights and human security, across the globe. Disproportionate impacts are often borne more strongly by least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states (SIDS).
To reduce and minimize risks related to displacement and to achieve better outcomes for disaster displaced persons worldwide, it is important for these global agendas and frameworks to guide regional and national policies in a coherent manner, and give support to action at the local level.
Taking ambitious and urgent climate change mitigation and adaptation action and facilitating safe, orderly and regular migration of people affected by climate change, including by enhancing the availability and accessibility of regular migration pathways and ensuring decent work for migrant workers, will be critical. This would help prevent affected people from resorting to precarious or irregular migration, including at the hands of smugglers, while providing greater certainty and predictability for all communities.
Furthermore, community-led inclusive climate adaptation and mitigation measures, enabled by adequate climate finance, will allow affected communities to develop resilience and just transition to a well-being economy and increase the chances that people migrate out of choice, not necessity.
Effective approaches to addressing disaster displacement through the Sendai Framework will require coherence with and partnerships across related policy areas.