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  • Agenda for the protection of cross-border displaced persons in the context of disasters and climate change - Volume 2

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Agenda for the protection of cross-border displaced persons in the context of disasters and climate change - Volume 2

Source(s):  Nansen Initiative, the

According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), between 2008 and 2014 a total of 184.6 million people were displaced by disasters, an average of 26.4 million people newly displaced each year. Of these, an annual average of 22.5 million people was displaced by weather related hazards. While the majority of these estimates represent internal displacement, IDMC notes that its global data “covers only the incidence of displacement, and not where displaced people flee to or where they eventually settle''. Furthermore, these estimates, while indicative of overall trends, do not include all small scale displacements, slow-onset hazards, or data collection on protracted displacement .

Conclusive global figures on cross-border disaster-displacement are not possible to compile for many reasons, including the diverse drivers of displacement, scientific uncertainties and the lack of systematic data collection and sharing. For example, censuses and other forms of population data collection rarely include questions that determine what factors influence movement, or whether it was voluntary or forced. Compiling comprehensive figures is further hindered by that fact that “displacement” terminology is not consistently utilized within disaster response efforts, or disaster-loss databases . Instead, many disaster-related statistics report “displaced,” “homeless,” “evacuated,” and “affected” populations interchangeably or refer only to “damaged” and “destroyed” homes .  

Displaced persons may also resist defining themselves as displaced in disaster contexts, or they may disperse and disappear in small groups after a disaster. Finally, it may not be clear whether the impacts of the disaster forced an individual to move, or whether the disaster became one of several factors driving the decision to move. Thus, sufficient evidence is not currently available to provide global figures as to how many people have crossed international borders in disaster contexts .

Recognizing these challenges, this publication provides an overview of information on cross-border disaster-displacement, as well as broader regional dynamics on human mobility associated with natural hazards and the adverse effects of climate change, in different regions of the world as gathered by the Nansen Initiative in the course of its consultations and meetings, and reflecting research commissioned by it. Notably, this overview is incomplete, as the Nansen Initiative did not hold regional consultations or conduct in-depth research in all areas of the world, nor was the objective of the Nansen Initiative to collect and consolidate primary data .

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  • Agenda for the protection of cross-border displaced persons in the context of disasters and climate change - Volume 2
  • Publication date 2015
  • Number of pages 104 p.

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