Platform on Disaster Displacement

The Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) aims at following up on the work started by the Nansen Initiative and to implement the recommendations of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, endorsed by more than 100 governmental delegations during a Global Consultation in October 2015.

People who are forced to cross a border in the context of a disaster and the effects of climate change have limited protection when they arrive in another country. Rather than calling for a new binding international convention on cross-border disaster-displacement, the Platform supports an approach that focuses on the integration of effective practices by States and (sub-)regional organizations into their own normative frameworks in accordance with their specific situations.

The enormous challenges that cross-border disaster-displacement generates are diverse. Because of their ‘borderless’ nature, international cooperation as well as regional and national engagement is crucial. While being a state-led process, the Platform is building strong partnerships between policymakers, practitioners and researchers and constitutes a multi-stakeholder forum for dialogue, information sharing as well as policy and normative development.

Under the leadership of Member States, the multi-stakeholder Platform on Disaster Displacement is built on three pillars: a Steering Group, an Advisory Committee, and a Coordination Unit. PDD was launched in May 2016 by Germany (Chair) and Bangladesh (Vice-Chair) at the World Humanitarian Summit (WHS). In January 2018 the Government of Bangladesh assumed the Chairmanship of the Platform for the coming year and a half. Joining at the helm, the Government of France is the new Vice-Chair of the Platform and the upcoming Chair in July 2019. 

To contact the Platform, please e-mail the Coordination Unit at or call at + 41 22 917 84 88.


Visit the Platform's website



IOM and the Platform on Disaster Displacement


IOM provided active support to the Nansen Initiative from 2012 to 2015, as a Standing Invitee of the Nansen Initiative Steering Group and a member of its Consultative Committee, including by contributing to the preparation of the Nansen Initiative's Regional consultations and background papers. 

Since the establishment of the Platform on Disaster Displacement in July 2016 as a follow up to the Nansen Initiative, IOM supports directly the implementation of the Platform's Strategic Framework and Workplan in close collaboration with the Platform's Coordination Unit.

IOM is, together with the UNHCR, a Standing Invitee to the Platform’s Steering Group, and plays a key role in supporting States’ efforts to implement the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda and the priorities identified by the Platform’s Steering Group, which are directly in line with IOM’s vision and action on addressing displacement and human mobility associated with natural disasters and climate change. 

IOM has been addressing the migration, environment and climate change (MECC) nexus since the 1990s contributing on all fronts, research, capacity building, policy, and operational response, including providing assistance and protection to persons displaced due to natural hazards and to the adverse effects of climate change. This work is supported by IOM dedicated thematic specialists in Geneva as well as in regional and national offices, including a specialized Migration, Environment and Climate Change (MECC) Division, which is the focal point for PDD.

IOM’s work on environmental migration builds on institutional expertise in areas such as migration research, international migration law, displacement tracking and camp management in disaster situations, disaster risk reduction, transition and recovery, immigration and border management, labour migration and development. 

As a key partner of the PDD, IOM, with the generous support of Germany, takes the lead on several areas of the PDD 2016-2019 Workplan, including on: capacity building of policymakers, collecting and analysing data in disaster situations, conducting research on new areas, and supporting policy development at global and regional levels. Dedicated IOM MECC specialists focus specifically on implementing the PDD Workplan and mainstreaming this work into broader IOM programmes and operations to ensure that the needs of people displaced in the context of disasters and climate change, whether internally or across borders, are addressed. 


Read more about the IOM-PDD Partnership



First Advisory Committee Workshop

The Platform on Disaster Displacement held its first Advisory Committee meeting on 13-14 October in Geneva, which brought together more than 80 international experts from all over the world who will be guiding and supporting the Chair and the Steering Group of the Platform in the implementation of activities under the Platform’s workplan over the next few years.



For more information about the outcomes of the workshop, please consult the Advisory Committee Workshop's webpage

Adoption of the First Guide to Effective Practices

The first “Guide to Effective Practices for RCM Member Countries: Protection for Persons Moving Across Borders in the Context of Disasters” was adopted by RCM Member Countries (Belize, Canada, Costa Rica, El Salvador, United States of America, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and the Dominican Republic) at the XXI Regional Conference on Migration (RCM) which took place in San Pedro Sula, Honduras, on 15-18 November 2016. 


The "Guide to Effective Practices" is the result of a three-year-long work which started following the 2013 Nansen Initiative Regional Consultation in Costa Rica, and which builds on the Background Paper that was prepared for the Regional Consultation to map the effective practices of protecting disaster displaced persons in the region. The Background Paper entitled ‘Law, Policy and Practice Concerning the Humanitarian Protection of Aliens on a Temporary Basis in the context of Disasters’, by Dr. David Cantor, is available online.


The Guide provides a comprehensive overview of existing effective practices on admission and stay for persons moving across borders in the context of disasters implemented by some countries in the region, which can serve as examples of possible humanitarian protection measures that RCM Member Countries may apply to assist foreigners affected by disasters. The Guide is an example of practical tools that can be developed at the regional level to support governments in strengthening their response and support to most vulnerable populations affected by disasters, and the type of exercice that the Platform on Disaster Displacement and its partners will be seeking to develop in other regions.


With the adoption of the guide by the RCM Member States, the work can now move into the next stage, which will consist in promoting the implementation of the Guide at the regional level, including through supporting national and regional capacity building through training workshops and simulations.


IOM's Regional Office in San Jose, which provides technical and administrative support to the Technical Secretariat of the Conference on Migration (RCM), will continue to provide support to the Platform on Disaster Displacement and to the RCM Member Countries in the wider dissemination and implementation of the Guide of Effective Practices. 


For more information about the launch of the Guide and associated events, please consult the PDD website.




What Day is October 13?

What is a disaster?
How many people are displaced each year because of disasters?
How do you see the future of disaster displacement by 2030?


On the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, the Platform on Disaster Displacement team roamed the streets and offices of Geneva to get answers to these questions and raise awareness on the realities and needs of women, children and men forced to leave their homes because of floods, hurricanes, earthquakes or droughts around the world.


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