IDPs From Conflict Displacement to Climate Displacement in Nigeria
PSI and its affiliates organized a one-day Advocacy Workshop on the theme: From Conflict Displacement to Climate Displacement. The workshop comes at a time when Nigeria, with a population of 220 million and an economic giant of Africa, was recently ravaged by devastating floods across the country early this year, resulting to 2,400 people injured, more than 600 killed and 1.4 million people internally displaced.
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Durable and sustainable solutions must be human rights-based, gender-responsive, puts people and the environment over profit, ensures social dialogue and consultations with civil society and stakeholders, most especially the IDPs themselves.
While Nigeria continues to struggle with conflicts and violence resulting to over 3.2 million internally displaced at the end of 2021, climate-related disasters are bringing more displacement. Figures over the last decade show that across the country, the number of people internally displaced by disasters (6.1 million) has far exceeded the number of those displaced by conflict and violence (4.1 million) as of the end of 2021 (IDMC, 2022). From conflict displacement to climate displacement, the population of Nigeria are caught in a vicious cycle of vulnerability, poverty and insecurity.
This challenge prompted PSI and its affiliated unions in Nigeria to bring together allies, partners and stakeholders to an Advocacy Workshop to examine the situation and explore durable and sustainable solutions to the question of internal displacement in Nigeria. The workshop concluded with around 60 participants, representing all PSI affiliates in Nigeria, the National Labor Congress, civil society partners, experts, government agencies, and leaders of the IDP communities, with a Communiqué that will be submitted to all levels of government and relevant stakeholders. In the communiqué, participants argue that conflict and climate are clearly link and, if not mitigated, will cause more displacement in the coming years. They call with urgency all levels of Government, civil society partners, the wider trade union movement and all stakeholders to work in concerted efforts to address the drivers and root causes of forced displacement from the perspective of climate justice, human rights and quality and inclusive public services. On the question of internal displacement caused by these interlinking and overlapping drivers, participants underscored that durable and sustainable solutions must be human rights-based, gender-responsive, puts people and the environment over profit, end ensures social dialogue and consultations with civil society and stakeholders, most especially the internally displaced persons (IDP) themselves.
The second day of the event was devoted to an Evaluation Workshop of the 2020-2022 PSI Project on Building Trade Union Capacity to Defend the Human Rights of IDPs to Quality Public Services in Nigeria.
The workshop brought together implementing partners, the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Swedish affiliate ASSR and PSI staff. The workshop concluded with a reiteration of how the project has built the capacity of PSI unions, raised the profile of public service unions as important stakeholders on the issue of internal displacement and helped the unions in defending the right to safety, decent work and social protection for frontline workers assisting the IDPs and their host communities. Participants also concluded that the continuation of the project on to the next phase will be crucial in assisting PSI affiliates to face the insurmountable challenges of conflict and climate displacement that Nigeria will be facing in the coming years.