Tuesday, 19-06-2012 - Brazil - IOM and UNHCR are tomorrow organizing a side event at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) to discuss the vulnerabilities of migrants and refugees living in cities.
IOM Director General William Lacy Swing, UNHCR High Commissioner António Guterres, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction Margareta Wahlström and Executive Coordinator for Rio+20 Elizabeth Thompson will attend the event, which will also bring together high-level government officials.
Discussions will focus on the drivers of migration towards urban areas and the particular vulnerability of urban migrants, including refugees and displaced persons. The panel-led discussion will highlight the need for strengthened disaster risk reduction efforts, especially as they relate to natural disasters, environmental degradation and climate-change related stresses.
The continuous flow of migrants, refugees and other displaced persons is one of the key factors behind the rapid growth of cities, with many of them originating from rural areas and smaller urban areas.
Although many are drawn to large cities by the prospect of a better life, others increasingly migrate from environmentally fragile areas as a means to adapt to climate change.
The forcibly displaced often seek the protection and opportunities that cities may offer, yet too often end up in over-crowded slums and peripheral spontaneous settlements that lack the most basic services.
The side event “Vulnerability of Urban Migrants: Challenges and Responses” will also be an opportunity to highlight the links between climate change and forced displacement.
The side event will start at 17:00 on Wednesday (20/6/12), in Room T-6 in Pavillion 03 of Riocentro, the venue of Rio+20. It is open to all participants accredited to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development.
For more information, please call
Luiz Fernando Godinho
The Brussels based United Nations Regional Information Centre for Western Europe - UNRIC provides information on UN activities to the countries of the region. It also provides liaison with institutions of the European Union in the field of information. Its outreach activities extend to all segments of society and joint campaigns, projects and events are organized with partners including the EU, governments, the media, NGOs, schools and local authorities.
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