Launch of the World Disasters Report 2012 on Forced Migration and Displacement’
Held at the Overseas Development Institute on Thursday 18th October, 2012, 1230-1400.
World Disasters Report 2012
On Thursday 18th October 2012, I attended the launch of the 2012 World Disasters Report held at the Overseas Development Institute. The World Development Report (WDR) is an annual flagship publication of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, (ICRC) and for this year’s report focused specifically on the subject of `forced migration and displacement’ and thereby focusing upon `people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and developmental projects.’
The launch event was chaired by David Peppiatt, international director for the British Red Cross; and the speakers included Professor Roger Zetter who was the editor of WDR 2012 and who is based at the University of Oxford; Dr. Sara Pantuliano who is head of the Humanitarian Policy Group at the Overseas Development Institute and Dr. Nando Sigono who is Senior Research Officer at the Refugee Studies Centre at the University of Oxford and also a contributor to WDR 2012.
In his introduction to the session, David Peppiatt stressed that whilst the WDR 2012 is produced by the ICRC, it continues to be an annual independent report, which incorporates the very valuable CRED database of disasters. David highlighted the many different forms of vulnerability faced by those who experience forced migration and displacement and that their situation is often both complex and multi-faceted.
A video-clip produced by the IFRC and is available as follows:
In his talk, Professor Roger Zetter reinforced the point that he had been granted complete editorial freedom in the preparation of the report and argued that its significance could not be over-emphasised. It represented, Zetter argued, an urgent and timely review of humanitarian assistance and which covers a broad range of issues. Zetter highlighted one of the key statistics in the book that there are currently 73 million forced migrants in the word, which represents about 1 in every 1,000 of the world’s citizens. was also the issue of the urbanisation of forced displacement as the majority of refugees and internally-displaced persons (IDPs) now live in urban areas, rather than camps.
Issues surrounding urbanisation were further developed by Dr. Sara Pantuliano, whose team at Humanitarian Policy Group, had contributed a chapter to WDR 2012 on `Forced Migration in an Urban Context.’ This talk reinforced the fact that urban displacement is an increasing phenomenon with manifold and overlapping causes. Dr. Pantuliano discussed the role of the Humanitarian Policy Group in contributing their chapter to the final report. A copy of Dr. Pantuliano’s presentation is now available for download from the ODI website – [Download Here].
Dr. Nando Sigona’s paper concentrated on the `Relationship between migration and mobility in relation to the Arab Spring.’ Dr. Sigona’s paper touched upon a number of issues which have arisen in light of the recent events around the Arab Spring. These included issues relating to migrants who were already living in Libya prior to the uprising and who, as a consequence of the conflict, were further displaced; and the case of Syrian refugees in Iraq and who held responsibility for their protection as they were facing victimisation from both side in the conflict.
A copy of the report was given to every attendee at the launch event and the
Click the image above to access our new World Disasters Report microsite.
Archive copy will be added to stock in due course. Further information on the actual report can be found from details in the introduction to the report, namely:
From the executive summary: “This year’s World Disasters Report focuses on forced migration and on the people forcibly displaced by conflict, political upheaval, violence, disasters, climate change and development projects, whose numbers are increasing inexorably each year. The enormous human costs of forced migration – destroyed homes and livelihoods, increased vulnerability, disempowered communities, and collapsed social networks and common bonds – demand urgent and decisive action by both humanitarian and development actors.
The report analyses the complex causes of forced migration and its consequences and impacts on displaced populations, their hosts and humanitarian actors. It looks at the significant gaps in humanitarian protection for ever-increasing numbers of forced migrants who do not fit into conventional categories of protection, and the public health challenges caused by forced displacement, particularly for women, children and those with mental ill-health problems. It examines the ‘urbanization’ of forced migration, the role of climate change and environmental factors in forced displacement and how new communications, information and social networking technologies are reshaping the links between aid providers and migrants. It also tracks humanitarian funding for forcibly displaced populations, as well as the positive and negative economic impacts they have on host communities and countries.
The report is also available as a complete PDF document in English; alternatively, readers can access individual chapters via the special microsite established for WDR2012. Also available is a “data dashboard,” with statistical figures for specific disasters and their consequences, and a video section.
Summaries of the report can be retrieved in Arabic, French, and Spanish.