Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (A/HRC/32/35) [EN/AR]
Note by the Secretariat
The present report provides an account of the activities undertaken by the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons. It considers progress made in key priority areas identified by the Special Rapporteur, and the major challenges relating to the human rights of internally displaced persons that require new or enhanced attention, including the integration of humanitarian and development activities, development-induced displacement, the vulnerability of marginalized groups to displacement and the need for consultation with and the participation of displaced persons in progress towards achieving durable solutions.
The present report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, Chaloka Beyani, is submitted in accordance with Human Rights Council resolution 23/8. It is the last report submitted to the Council by the present mandate holder.
The Special Rapporteur pays tribute to Francis Deng, the Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons for the period 1992-2004, and Walter Kälin, the Representative of the Secretary-General on the human rights of internally displaced persons from 2004 to 2010. He thanks them sincerely for their unreserved support during his tenure as Special Rapporteur.
In the first section, the Special Rapporteur provides an overview of his activities over the reporting period and progress relating to key priorities that he had identified for his work. In the second section, he considers some major challenges and emerging issues for consideration by all stakeholders relating to the human rights of internally displaced persons.
The Special Rapporteur thanks the numerous entities that have supported and assisted his mandate during his tenure, including Member States, United Nations agencies, international and national non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations and volunteer groups, academic and research organizations and numerous other stakeholders.
He is grateful for the support provided by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). In order to maximize its impact, the mandate also relies on the additional support provided by the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), with which he has built fruitful and effective partnerships.
Memorandums of understanding with both offices have enabled the flow of information and exchange of expertise and initiatives and have allowed additional mandate support staff to be located in both bodies.
The Special Rapporteur acknowledges the work and contributions of the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre and the Joint IDP Profiling Service, with which he has formed valuable collaborations. Their innovative work in the areas of research, profiling, field support, capacity–building, training and advocacy have contributed to improving national and international responses to internal displacement and provided essential tools to national Governments and other stakeholders.
The Special Rapporteur pays tribute to and has benefited immensely from civil society organizations. National civil society groups, non-governmental organizations and volunteer groups are always on the front line of assistance efforts and bear much of the social responsibility for supporting internally displaced persons, frequently with minimal resources.
The Special Rapporteur expresses sincere appreciation to the Brookings Project on Internal Displacement for its support to the mandate. The project concluded its work and partnership with the respective mandates of the Representatives of the Secretary-General and the Special Rapporteur in 2015.
The mandate has been and must remain an important voice in the international community on and for millions of internally displaced persons globally. The Human Rights Council and the General Assembly among others have recognized the catalytic role played by the mandate in raising the level of awareness of the alarmingly high numbers of internally displaced persons, addressing their development and specific needs, including through mainstreaming the human rights of such persons into all relevant parts of the United Nations system. In its resolution 70/165, the General Assembly requested the Secretary-General to continue to provide the Special Rapporteur, from within existing resources, with all assistance necessary to strengthen and carry out his mandate effectively.
The Special Rapporteur considers it necessary to take measures to strengthen the effectiveness of the mandate and enhance its operational capacity and its ability to engage all stakeholders at the highest level.
Redesignating the mandate from that of Representative of the Secretary-General (1992 to 2010) to a Special Rapporteur of the Human Rights Council (2010 to 2016) has undermined the mandate holder’s standing and institutional ability to play an inside role as a catalyst and to mainstream the human rights of internally displaced persons within the United Nations system. A Special Rapporteur acting in a voluntary, external and independent capacity is no longer adequate to cope with the complexity and scope of global internal displacement today. This concern was raised in December 2013 at the UNHCR high-level dialogue on internal displacement, in which calls were made by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and other authorities to reinforce the mandate.
The Special Rapporteur considers that enhancing the mandate to a Special Representative of the Secretary-General on internally displaced persons, with appropriate staff and resources, working within and outside the United Nations and in dialogue with Member States and all stakeholders, would demonstrate the commitment of the United Nations and the international community to addressing internal displacement effectively.