Rio+20 Side Event Will Underline Vulnerability of Urban Migrants

IOM2Tuesday, 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.

Link to the RIO+20/IOM-UNHCR Side Event Page


For more information, please call

Tmnit Nur
Tel. +55.21.8514.1320
Email: [email protected]


Luiz Fernando Godinho
Tel. +55.61.8187.0978
Email: [email protected]