Climate change, disasters and internal displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A human rights-based approach

Since 2017, the Raoul Wallenberg Institute has, together with academic partners, been conducting a regional thematic study on displacement in the context of disasters and climate change in ten countries across the region. The countries include China, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar, the Philippines, Indonesia, Nepal, Bangladesh, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands. 

The study set out to gain insight into the varieties of disaster- and climate-related displacement in the region, and to enhance understanding of the role played by international human rights standards and guidelines, as well as national legal and policy frameworks, in addressing the phenomenon as it is experienced in concrete situations. Consequently, we conducted research that consolidates key international standards and guidelines on displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, and applied those standards to an analysis of how national law and policy relating to climate change adaptation and disaster risk management addresses the phenomenon. Structuring our approach on the 1998 Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement, we considered how the national legal and policy frameworks in the ten countries addressed the prevention of displacement, protection of people during displacement, and the facilitation of durable solutions. We also supported academic partners to conduct field research that explored how local actors actually addressed a particular instance of displacement. The result is a series of reports that shed light on how states in the region are addressing this phenomenon.

We intend to draw on this research in further engagements with partners in the region interested in the contribution that a human rights-based approach can make to addressing this growing challenge. 

Background Brief: Key International Standards and Guidelines Relating to Displacement in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change

The role of national law and policy in addressing displacement in the context of disasters and climate change in Asia and the Pacific

This is an Accepted Manuscript of a book chapter published by Routledge in Matthew Scott and Albert Salamanca (eds) Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach on 16 November, 2020, available online.

Events and Consultations

Launch of the research – Bangkok, 1 December 2020

Contributions to International Policy Processes


Submission of the Asia Pacific Academic Network on Disaster Displacement to the UN High Level Panel on Internal Displacement

Submission of Asia Pacific Academic Network on Disaster Displacement to the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons