Climate Displacement in African Cities

Human Rights and Gender Equality in Climate and Disaster Displacement: A Municipality-Level Integrated Response in African Cities  

At COP26 in Glasgow in 2021, the Mayors Migration Council (MMC) and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (C40) launched the Global Mayors Action Agenda on Climate and Migration (the Action Agenda). This Public Sector Innovation Programme responds to two trends.

First, people who are forced to leave their homes as a consequence of disasters and climate change often move into cities, and municipal authorities therefore need to prepare for and respond to sudden and more gradual increases in the urban population.

Second, cities are themselves exposed to hazards, including rising sea levels, storm surges, flooding, drought and so forth. Growing populations of people in situations of vulnerability, including those already displaced, often live in informal or poorly planned settlements where the risk of secondary displacement can be high.

Voices of Particpants

The initiative brings together participants from capital and secondary cities in Kenya, Uganda and Sierra Leone. In October 2022, participants gatherered in Naivasha, Kenya for an opening workshop. Hear what some of them had to say about climate-related displacement in their cities:

Barbra Kiwanuka - Uganda

Sylvestre Sidie Mohamaed Kallon - Sierra Leone

Joel Kuria - Kenya

Yusufu Kamara - Sierra Leone

The C40-MMC Global Mayors Task Force on Climate and Migration calls upon a wide range of actors to contribute to building resilience and promoting the inclusion of people (at risk of being) displaced in cities in the context of disasters and climate change. 

Significantly, the City Principles for Inclusive Action on Climate and Migration, which forms part of the Action Agenda, expressly commits to a human rights-based approach. Mayors commit at principle number 4 to: 

Endeavour to welcome people moving or displaced into our cities, including for climate-related reasons ensuring fundamental rights and equitable access to services, regardless of migration or legal status. 

From October 2022 to October 2023, Lund University and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (RWI), will coordinate the implementation of the project Human Rights and Gender Equality in Climate and Disaster Displacement: A Municipality-Level Integrated Response in African Cities.

The project, which is supported by the Swedish Institute, brings together public sector professionals working in municipalities where climate-related displacement is already a reality. Participants have been selected from cities in Kenya, Uganda and Sierra Leone. The project is inspired by the 'Action Agenda' and builds on earlier work by project partners relating to disaster displacement. 

Building on the Framework for Integrating Rights and Equality (FIRE), the project supports public sector professionals to engage with the challenges faced within their municipalities. FIRE provides the structure for the learning modules and the city profiles that participants will develop over the duration of the course. Reflecting a consolidation of key international standards and guidelines, the six dimensions and multiple elements of FIRE are represented in the following diagram:

How?

Through a series of in-person and online individual, small and larger group consultations, participants will design and implement individual learning projects that are directly relevant to the displacement challenges faced by people living in their municipality. The combined insights from these individual learning projects will be compiled in city profiles, which will help to highlight the realities of contemporary climate-related displacement, the role of local authorities in addressing the challenges, and the relevance of adopting a human rights and gender equality perspective. The city profiles will be launched at a final project event in one of the participating cities in August 2023. 

A second iteration of the project is being planned for 2023-2024, and we are actively engaging with a variety of networks to ensure that the initiative has impact at local, regional and international levels. 


Project Manager and Expert

Matthew Scott

Matthew Scott

Leader of the Human Rights and the Environment Thematic Area

E-mail: matthew.scott@rwi.lu.se

Matthew Scott is a senior researcher and leader of the Human Rights and the Environment thematic area at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. His work focuses on integrating social science perspectives with international legal standards to promote context-sensitive, human rights-based law, policy and practice relating to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. His primary area of expertise concerns migration and displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, on which he has published a monograph entitled Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention (CUP 2020), an edited volume entitled Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Routledge 2021) and a range of book chapters and academic articles. Current research interests concern the role of local authorities in addressing climate- and disaster-related migration and displacement.

He holds a PhD in Public International Law from Lund University and a MA in Social Anthropology of Development from SOAS. He practiced immigration and asylum law in London before entering academia. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the editorial board of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law, and a founding member of the Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility.

At Lund University he convenes the LLM course on human rights law, the environment and climate change and lectures on the MSc programme in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Matthew is also actively engaged in international collaboration initiatives and is currently contributing technical expertise on human rights-based approaches to disaster risk reduction across eight countries in Asia, and is working with municipal authorities in three cities in Africa to explore human rights-based approaches to addressing climate-related displacement.

For further updates on his research, please refer to his Research profile:

https://portal.research.lu.se/en/persons/matthew-scott

 

Team


Matthew Scott

Matthew Scott

Leader of the Human Rights and the Environment Thematic Area

E-mail: matthew.scott@rwi.lu.se

Matthew Scott is a senior researcher and leader of the Human Rights and the Environment thematic area at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. His work focuses on integrating social science perspectives with international legal standards to promote context-sensitive, human rights-based law, policy and practice relating to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation. His primary area of expertise concerns migration and displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, on which he has published a monograph entitled Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention (CUP 2020), an edited volume entitled Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Routledge 2021) and a range of book chapters and academic articles. Current research interests concern the role of local authorities in addressing climate- and disaster-related migration and displacement.

He holds a PhD in Public International Law from Lund University and a MA in Social Anthropology of Development from SOAS. He practiced immigration and asylum law in London before entering academia. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the editorial board of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law, and a founding member of the Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility.

At Lund University he convenes the LLM course on human rights law, the environment and climate change and lectures on the MSc programme in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation. Matthew is also actively engaged in international collaboration initiatives and is currently contributing technical expertise on human rights-based approaches to disaster risk reduction across eight countries in Asia, and is working with municipal authorities in three cities in Africa to explore human rights-based approaches to addressing climate-related displacement.

For further updates on his research, please refer to his Research profile:

https://portal.research.lu.se/en/persons/matthew-scott

 

Mo Hamza

Mo Hamza

Affiliated Professor

E-mail: mo.hamza@risk.lth.se

Mo Hamza is Professor of Risk Management and Societal Safety at Lund University, Sweden. In his career spanning 36 years so far, he has worked with international development organisations including: World Bank, ADB, UNDP, UNISDR, USAID, DfID, IFRC, IUCN, Swedish Red Cross, and the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB).

His primary areas of professional expertise and research work are: Disaster risk and vulnerability reduction, climate change impact and adaptation in fragile and failed states, environmental displacement and refugees’ decision-making on mobility. Previously he was Chair of Social Vulnerability Studies at the United Nations University, Bonn, Germany; a Senior Research Fellow at the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI), Sweden and an advisor to the MIT Climate CoLab. He has undertaken consultancy and research work in: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Botswana, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Sierra Leone, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Uganda, UK, South Eastern Europe and the Balkan States.

He is currently an advisor to the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (MSB) where he is responsible for their capacity development processes. Among various and more recent publications, Mo Hamza is the co-editor of the upcoming ‘Rebuilding Communities after Displacement’ book published by Springer Nature; was the co-guest editor of a double special issue in Global Discourse Journal (2022) ‘Critical Exploration of Crisis: Politics, Precariousness and Potentialities’, and the author of ‘Refugees’ Integration in the Built Environment – The Sweden Case’ in Sustainability Journal 2021. He was also the lead author and editor of the World Disasters Report (2015) ‘Focus on local actors, the key to humanitarian effectiveness’.

For further updates on his research, please refer to his Research profile:

https://portal.research.lu.se/en/persons/mo-hamza 

Rakel Larsen

Rakel Larsen

Director of the RWI Regional Office in Nairobi

Cell phone: +254 790 409 420
E-mail: rakel.larsen@rwi.lu.se

Rakel Larsen joined RWI in November 2020 as the Director of the Nairobi Office. She brings more than 15 years of work experience in refugee protection, displacement and human rights mainly from Sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to joining the RWI, she worked for the Danish Refugee Council with humanitarian response and protection of refugees and other displaced persons in Ethiopia, Tanzania, Uganda and South Sudan.

Furthermore, she holds a Master’s in Law and a Master’s in African Studies (Human Rights and Development) from the University of Copenhagen.