Climate change, cross-border displacement and human rights: is there a protection gap and will COP21 help close it?
The 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to be held in Paris later this year, will not only be one of the most important environmental conferences ever held, but also one of the most important human rights gatherings of the past half-century. The ability of states to reach – or not – a new and ambitious global agreement in Paris will have a determinative impact on the lives, prospects, hopes, dignity and rights of millions of people around the world. Success or failure will also influence future population movements, both within States and also, crucially, across international borders.
With that in mind, on Monday 26th October, the Universal Rights Group (URG) together with United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the Geneva Environment Network (GEN), the office of the UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), and the Climate Vulnerable Forum (CVF), organised a brown-bag lunch to discuss:
Climate change, cross-border displacement and human rights:
is there a protection gap and will COP21 help close it?
12:00 – 14:00, Monday 26th October
Room 3, International Environment House I
(11 ch. des Anémones, 1219 Geneva)
Barbara RUIS, Legal Officer, Division of Environmental Law and Conventions, UNEP
12:05 Prospects for COP21 and its implications for human rights and cross-border displacement
Professor John KNOX, UN Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment
12:20 Is there a human rights protection gap for people displaced across international borders in the context of climate change impacts?
Marc LIMON, Director, Universal Rights Group
12:35 Is the international community doing enough to acknowledge and to bridge the protection gaps that exist? Which UN bodies and/or organisations should take the lead?
Dina IONESCO, Head of Division, Migration, Environment and Climate Change, International Organisation for Migration
12:50 Why is it important, especially for the rights of people in climate vulnerable States, to act now? What is the role of the Human Rights Council and its mechanisms?
Nahida SOBHAN, Minister, Permanent Mission of Bangladesh, member of the Climate Vulnerable Forum – to be confirmed
13:20 Open question and answer session
Image: Flooded makeshift latrines of refugee camp contaminating the knee-deep water in and around the improvised shelters creating yet another health risk in addition to the crowded conditions in Bihar, India on October 1, 2008. © Balazs Gardi licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 4.0.