Disaster displacement is one of the biggest humanitarian challenges of the 21st century. Every year, millions of people are forced to leave their homes because of floods, tropical storms, droughts, glacier melting, earthquakes and other natural hazards. Many find refuge within their own country, but some have to move abroad. Scientists warn that climate change is projected to increase displacement in the future, both internally and across borders. These large-scale displacements have devastating effects on people and communities. They create complex humanitarian and development challenges that call for urgent partnerships and action beyond traditional silos.
The Platform on Disaster Displacement is a state-led process addressing the protection needs of people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and climate change. Its main goal is to implement the recommendations of the Nansen Initiative Protection Agenda, endorsed by 109 governmental delegations during a Global Consultation in October 2015. The Protection Agenda offers states a toolbox to better prevent and prepare for displacement before a disaster strikes, as well as to better respond to situations when people are forced to find refuge, either within their own country or across an international border.
While being a state-led process, the Platform will build strong partnerships between policymakers, practitioners and researchers and will constitute a multi-stakeholder forum for dialogue, information sharing as well as policy and normative development. Find out more about the members of the Platform at disasterdisplacement.org
Has put forward four strategic priorities:
Address knowledge and data gaps by linking up with existing data gathering mechanisms, the Platform will seek to address knowledge gaps on why, where, when, and how people are displaced in the context of disasters and climate change.
Enhance the use of identified effective practices. Although persons displaced across borders in disaster contexts are not adequately protected under international law, the Protection Agenda indicated that at least 50 countries have received or refrained from returning children, women and men from disaster-affected countries.
Mainstream human mobility challenges across relevant action areas. Disaster displacement is multi-causal with climate change being an important, but not the only factor. Population growth, underdevelopment, weak governance and poor urban planning in rapidly expanding cities are important drivers of human mobility as they weaken resilience and exacerbate the impacts of natural hazards and climate change.
Promote policy and normative development in gap areas. People who are forced to cross an international border in the context of a disaster and climate change have limited protection when they arrive in another country.