Internal Displacement at a Crossroads: Quo Vadis

On 20 December 2022, UNU will host an event with Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, former UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons.

- Asia/Tokyo
Online via Zoom Webinar

On 20 December 2022, UNU will host “Internal Displacement at a Crossroads: Quo Vadis”, a BIG IDEAS Dialogue with Atty. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary, former UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons. This event will be held via Zoom webinar at 18:00 JST (UTC+9).

In 2021, over 60 million people were forcibly displaced worldwide due to conflict, violence, climate change, and other natural hazards. Moreover, countless others have been displaced due to man-made disasters and development-related projects. Despite a UN pronouncement that internal displacement has to be reduced, the international community seems to be at a loss for durable solutions.

In 2022, the UN Secretary-General issued an Action Agenda on Internal Displacement for the United Nations to implement, but it remains to be seen if this will be materialised seriously, particularly with the creation of a two-year Office of the Special Adviser on Solutions for Internal Displacement. While the Agenda focuses on the United Nations, will States follow suit? In this regard, what is the role of independent monitors such as UN Special Rapporteurs, civil society, academics, nongovernment organisations, and internally displaced persons? And underlying these monitors, where does international law fit in, particularly the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement?

Ms. Jimenez-Damary will join UNU Senior Vice-Rector Sawako Shirahase to discuss these questions in the context of current events and future scenarios.

Please note this event will be in English; Japanese interpretation will not be provided. Advance registration by 19 December is required. Registrants will receive an email on the day of the event with a link to attend via Zoom webinar.

About the Speaker

Atty. Cecilia Jimenez-Damary is a lawyer in human rights and international humanitarian law, specialising in migration as well as transitional justice, prevention of torture, and administration of justice, among others. She also has expertise and experience in the UN system of human rights protection, and has published specialised papers for the reform of the UN Commission on Human Rights into the current Human Rights Council.

Ms. Jimenez-Damary has over three decades of experience in NGO human rights advocacy, working in Philippine national human rights NGOs and international NGOs based in Geneva, Switzerland. She is an international legal consultant registered in Switzerland, where she has worked on various projects for international NGOs, UN agencies, and various foreign affairs ministries of different governments. She was also an adjunct professor of international human rights and humanitarian law in various US universities offering human rights courses in Geneva.

Upon her return to the Philippines in 2013, Atty. Jimenez-Damary was appointed as the National Director of the IDP Project of the Commission on Human Rights of the Philippines; and later as the government representative to the Philippine Transitional Justice and Reconciliation Commission for the Bangsamoro. She was then appointed by the UN Human Rights Council as the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, a position she served in from 2016 to 2022. During her term, she visited Japan on an official mission in October 2022.

Currently, she is a Board Member of several NGOs reflecting her expertise: Task Force Detainees of the Philippines (TFDP); Association for the Prevention of Torture (APT); and the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS).
Atty. Jimenez-Damary holds an LL.M. in Public International Law from King’s College London, UK; a Management Development Certificate (MDC) in International Organizations-MBA from the University of Geneva, Switzerland; an LL.B. from Ateneo de Manila, Philippines; and a B.Sc. in Foreign Service from the University of the Philippines. She was admitted to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines in 1990.

About the series

The BIG IDEAS: SDGs Dialogue Series introduces the people, projects, and organisations behind shared efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Each event features leading representatives and researchers from international organisations, UN agencies, and UNU institutes to stimulate discussion on sustainable development issues and initiatives. The events provide a unique opportunity for young researchers, graduate students, and civil society to become more familiar with SDG-related topics, ask questions, and learn how they can contribute to local and global SDG progress.