A report just issued by the United Nations Human Rights Council gives extensive and positive coverage to the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement Within States. The report, prepared by UN human rights expert of the Advisory Committee to the Human Rights Council, Mr. Imeru Tamrat Yigezu of Ethiopia, describes the 2013 Principles as providing “a solid foundation for the protection of the specific needs of those internally displaced by climate change in line with a human-rights based approach and are consistent with international human rights standards and humanitarian law”. The 12 August 2016 report (UN doc: A/HRC/AC/17/2) makes clear the human rights dimensions of climate displacement and specifically recommends that the Council implement two key recommendations:

1. That the Advisory Committee undertake to prepare guidelines (‘soft guidelines’) on climate displacement and human rights, based on existing frameworks such as the Guiding Principles on IDPs and the Peninsula Principles on Climate Displacement within States, which are grounded in the existing international framework.

2.  Alternatively, that the Advisory Committee could prepare a report on the question of a human rights-based planned relocation to cases of looming climate displacement.

It is hoped the Human Rights Council will accept Tamrat’s recommendations, and that attention to the rights of climate displaced persons and communities at last begin to get the structural attention and protection they deserve. 

A full copy of the report (Pages 17-25 address climate displacement and the Peninsula Principles) is available here: HRC-AC-17-2_August 12, 2016-Report of the Advisory Committee on its 17th session