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Human Rights Expert Reports on Maldives Mission

21 July 2011: After returning from a mission to the Maldives, the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons (IDPs) for the UN Human Rights Council, Chaloka Beyani, stressed that the negative effects of climate change on peoples' rights such as the right to housing, and safe water and livelihoods are being felt across many islands.

Beyani called on the Government of Maldives to put in place measures to manage internal displacement caused by climate change and natural disasters, including a law on disaster risk reduction (DRR) to support the implementation of the Strategic National Action Plan for Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation 2010-2020, and for the approval by the parliament of the law on disaster management. He underlined that the lessons learned from the internal displacement caused by the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami should inform and be integrated into future legislation and policies.

Beyani noted that measures to manage internal displacement should also include climate change-induced displacement preparedness applying a human rights-based approach, and mechanisms for the participation of affected communities. Some of the noticeable effects of climate change in the Maldives include coastal erosion, salination, rising sea levels and frequent storms and flooding.

Beyani is expected to present a full report on the situation in the Maldives to the UN Human Rights Council by March 2012. [UN Press Release]