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UN expert on internal displacement launches first official visit to the Philippines

GENEVA (16 July 2015) – United Nations Special Rapporteur Chaloka Beyani will carry out an official visit to the Philippines from 21 to 31 July 2015 to assess the situation of internally displaced persons (IDPs) in different regions of the country caused by natural disasters, conflict and development projects.

“The Philippines has a range of internal displacement issues, which include those caused in 2013 by the devastation wreaked by Typhoon Haiyan where significant progress has been made, as well as other displacement situations where challenges remain to be addressed,” he noted.

“It is my intention to assist in finding solutions as well as to share experiences with the Government,” said Mr. Beyani, who visits the country at the invitation of the Government. 

The independent expert is mandated by the UN Human Rights Council to consider the human rights of internally displaced persons in all regions. An essential element of his work is to visit countries to assess displacement situations, government responses and to promote implementation of international standards, including the Guiding Principles for Internal Displacement*.

“This visit presents a unique opportunity to consult with the national authorities and other stakeholders on progress in confronting recent and long-standing displacement challenges, remaining obstacles and efforts to ensure appropriate and durable solutions for all IDPs,” the Special Rapporteur stated.

During his ten-day mission, the human rights expert will visit Manila as well as locations where people have been internally displaced or are at risk of displacement such as Maguindanao, Zamboanga, Tacloban, and South Cotabato.

At the end of his visit, Mr Beyani will share his preliminary findings and recommendations with the media at a press conference which will be held on 31st July at 12:00 PM. at the New World Hotel, Esperaza Street corner Makati Avenue, Makati City.

The Special Rapporteur will present a comprehensive report at the time of his annual report on his visit to the UN Human Rights Council in June 2016.

(*) Check the UN Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement:  http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/Standards.aspx

Mr. Chaloka Beyani, professor of international law at the London School of Economics, was appointed Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons by the Human Rights Council in September 2010. Learn more, visit: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/Issues/IDPersons/Pages/IDPersonsIndex.aspx

The Special Rapporteurs are part of the Special Procedures of Human Rights Council. Special Procedures, the largest body of independent experts in the UN Human Rights system, is the general name of the Council’s independent fact-finding and monitoring mechanisms that address either specific country situations or thematic issues in all parts of the world. Special Procedures’ experts work on a voluntary basis; they are not UN staff and do not receive a salary for their work. They are independent from any government or organization, and serve in their individual capacity.

UN Human Rights, Country Page – The Philippines: http://www.ohchr.org/EN/countries/AsiaRegion/Pages/PHIndex.aspx

For more information and media requests, please contact Graham Fox (+41 22 917 9640 / gfox@ohchr.org) or write to idp@ohchr.org

For media inquiries related to other UN independent experts:
Xabier Celaya, UN Human Rights – Media Unit (+ 41 22 917 9383 / xcelaya@ohchr.org)  

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