The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies (National Societies), together with the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), have a long-standing commitment to addressing situations of internal displacement and provide vital support to millions of internally displaced people (IDPs). This year marks the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement Policy on Internal Displacement (Movement Policy on Internal Displacement), which provides important guidance to all components of the Movement on how to address the various aspects of preventing, responding to and facilitating durable solutions to internal displacement caused by disasters, including those related to climate change, armed conflict and other situations of violence.
To better understand this role in disaster settings, the IFRC migration and displacement unit commissioned research to capture the ways in which IFRC and National Societies contribute to addressing internal displacement in disaster settings issues and to identify opportunities for further development. The report was undertaken by Victoria Bannon from Humanitarian Consulting Pty Ltd, with research assistance from Marilena Berardo from IFRC/Swiss Red Cross and Becky-Jay Harrington of Humanitarian Consulting Pty Ltd. A special thanks also to Tiziana Bonzon, IFRC Global Migration and Displacement lead, who commissioned this report, and to Ezekiel (Zeke) Simperingham, IFRC Asia Pacific Migration and Displacement Coordinator, for also supporting the review and finalization of the report. This report is a summary of the main findings and recommendations emerging from the research.
Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) held the first Basic and Training of Trainers (ToT) course on Migration and Displacement on 9 – 12 July in Myanmar. The participants in this first training and ToT were MRCS Migration and Displacement Taskforce members that include Deputy Secretary General, and Directors and Deputy Directors from First Aid and Social Services, Ambulance Service, Rakhine Special Operations, Disaster Management, Restoring Family Link, South-East (Refugee Returns) Project, Organizational Development, Health, Kachin Special Operations, Youth Volunteering, and Kachin State Chairman of MRCS. The development and implementation of this training is one of the pillars of the MRCS 10-point MRCS Action Plan on Migration and Displacement.
The training introduced key concepts and Red Cross principles of migration and displacement and how these can be applied in practice. The findings from the MRCS National Assessment on Migration and Displacement were shared and discussed and served as reference for the development of this training programme. The training was interactive and used case studies and scenarios which were relevant to Myanmar migration and displacement context. Next steps are for Taskforce members to consider and plan how Migration and Displacement principles and concepts can be included in the existing training or delivered separately in each department for staff and volunteers of MRC on the Red Cross approach to migration and displacement.
From 16-17 May 2019, the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) held a workshop in Yangon to discuss the findings of a new MRCS Assessment on Migration and Displacement. The workshop was an opportunity for the new MRCS Task Force on Migration and Displacement to discuss and input into the draft assessment findings. The workshop also included the first ever meeting of the Red Cross Movement Task Force on Migration and Displacement. The workshop was led by the MRCS Director of the RFL Department, Daw Su Su Lynn, with the support of IFRC (including the IFRC Country Office, the IFRC Regional Migration and Displacement Coordinator and the new IFRC Myanmar Migration Delegate – Amanda Aye). The workshop was also supported by the British Red Cross.
The workshop follows on from the MRCS National Strategic Dialogue on Migration and Displacement held in November 2018 and the resulting 10-point Action Plan on Migration and Displacement.
The assessment findings include:
The workshop participants included MRCS Madame President, Executive Committee members, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General and members of the MRCS Migration and Displacement Task Force including Directors from Disaster Management, Health, Restoring Family Links, First Aid Safety and Security (FASS) and the Southeast Project.
Presentations were delivered by representative from MRCS departments including Rakhine Operations, South-East Project, as well as external agencies – UNHCR, IOM, ILO.
Immediately after the workshop, Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) chaired the inaugural Movement-wide Migration and Displacement Taskforce meeting. At this meeting, the MRCS Taskforce presented the findings and discussion points from the workshop to the Movement-wide Task Force including ICRC, IFRC Asia Pacific Regional Migration & Displacement Coordinator, American Red Cross, Asia Pacific Migration Network (APMN) Secretariat, British Red Cross, Danish Red Cross, German Red Cross and Swedish Red Cross.
The needs assessment report will be finalised and will function as a guiding document and baseline report for next actions of MRCS, including the development of a Migration and Displacement training programme, an MRCS Migration Policy, and for future programming initiatives.
On 22 March 2019, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and UNDP/UN-ACT co-hosted a half-day seminar on ‘Human Trafficking in Disaster and Crisis Settings: experiences throughout Asia with a focus on Cox’s Bazar’ (see invitation)
The event was moderated by Mr Ezekiel (Zeke) Simperingham, IFRC Asia Pacific Migration and Displacement Coordinator. On the first panel were Ms Samantha McCormack from the UNHCR Global Protection Cluster Task Team on Anti-Trafficking who join remotely via link from Geneva, and Ms Marika McAdam, an Independent International Legal Advisor. They spoke on ‘Bridging the Gap: Global structures, efforts, policies and experiences to combat human trafficking with a people-centered approach’. This was followed by a second panel on ‘The risks of human trafficking in Cox´s Bazar: Ways to combat trafficking, mitigate risks and enhance dignity.’ During this session Dr Rebecca Miller of the Asia Dialogue on Forced Migration (AFDM), and Ms Valeria Ragni, the British Red Cross’ Senior Anti-Trafficking Advisor presented findings from recent assessments conducted by their respective organisations (see agenda).
Over 70 attendees from a variety of backgrounds, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, humanitarians, representatives of diplomatic missions, UN staff, academics, and civil society actors attended the event, which furthered the commitment of the IFRC to addressing humanitarian needs of migrants and displaced people across the Asia Pacific region (see IFRC Asia Pacific Migration and Displacement: Framework for Action – Reducing Vulnerability, Enhancing Resilience 2017 – 2022). In addition, it also highlighted the nexus between migrant labour and trafficking (see Addressing the Humanitarian Consequences of Labour Migration and Trafficking: The Role of Asia Pacific National Societies), and current programmes and activities undertaken by the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh and in Laos following the collapse of the mega dam, as well as ensuring complementarity with the IFRC’s work as it relates to Protection, Gender and Inclusion in humanitarian responses.
This report is designed to enhance the collective understanding of Asia Pacific National Societies and the IFRC on the trends, dynamics and humanitarian needs of people on the move in the context of disasters and climate change. The report focuses on the role of Asia Pacific National Societies in the context of displacement, but also addresses the related human mobility trends of migration and planned relocation.
Beyond enhancing knowledge and understanding, the report is also designed to provide guidance for National Societies to individually and collectively enhance their humanitarian action in the context of disasters, displacement and climate change. The report builds upon the latest understanding and expertise on human mobility linked to disasters and climate change. The report also builds on relevant International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement policies, guidance and commitments related to climate change, disaster risk management, disaster law, resilience, protection, gender and inclusion (PGI), migration and displacement. The report contains examples of existing initiatives by Asia Pacific National Societies, demonstrating the diversity and strength of Red Cross Red Crescent action to address this emerging and critical challenge. The examples capture practices from all parts of the Asia Pacific region – from East Asia, from South Asia, from South East Asia, and from the Pacific.
The report is intended to be beneficial across Red Cross and Red Crescent National Society departments, from leadership to disaster management, climate change, health, shelter, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), restoring family links (RFL), welfare, migration and beyond. The report is also intended to be useful for representatives from government, regional and global institutions, academia, civil society organizations and United Nations agencies to deepen their understanding of the core mandate and strengths of Asia Pacific National Societies in addressing displacement in the context of disasters and climate change.