Episode 24 - How the UN Helps Internally Displaced Persons
Play • 41 mins
If you're a refugee fleeing persecution or disaster and can't or don't want to cross an international border, you are what the UN calls an internally displaced person, or IDP. The governments comprising the UN refused for decades to focus on the rights of IDP's, and remarkably it took until the late 1990s before a degree of structural attention began to be given to the brutal human suffering and displacement endured by the world's ever growing internally displaced population.

In 2020, more than 50 million people are classified as IDPs, with a majority of these fleeing acute and slow onset natural disasters such as flooding, earthquakes, volcanos, landslides, tsunamis and increasingly the ever-worsening effects of climate change. Conflicts still displace millions across the globe, but clearly disasters and climate change are the main drivers of internal displacement and the loss of homes and lands today.

Speaking to us from Davao City in the Philippines, Episode 24's very special guest is the UN's point person on IPDs, Cecelia Jiminez-Damary, the UN Special Rapporteur on the Rights of Internally Displaced Persons. Cecelia's decades-long human rights career places her in a solid position to advocate on behalf of the growing segment of humanity that has been forced by circumstances beyond their control from their homes, and she has already accomplished much since her work commenced in 2016, often against all odds.

Her mandate has taken her to some of the most dangerous conflict hotspots across the globe in her (unpaid!) quest to provide support to this highly vulnerable group of our fellow humans. Working in Iraq, Libya, El Salvador, Sudan and beyond, Cecelia shares some incredible stories of human suffering and human resilience.

If you would like to know more about Cecelia's work, you can go to the following UN website which contains all of her reports and background on her mandate:


Thanks again to Cecelia for joining us for Episode 24 and congratulations on an amazing effort in what is surely one of the world's most difficult jobs!
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