Our work in this area examines issues such as the legal framework surrounding environmental displacement as well as the prospects for enhanced international cooperation to address current humanitarian emergencies.
While there is a significant body of international law dealing with refugees, what legal framework exists, if any, to deal with movement across borders because of natural hazards, including the effects of climate change? In particular, how can ‘temporary protection’, a concept developed in the refugee field, be used by states to manage such environmental displacement? How will this be integrated into the protection agenda being developed by the Swiss-Norwegian Nansen Initiative which is seeking to build understanding among states about the need to develop principled responses to such movements.
With the Syrian refugee crisis in its third year and the flow of tragedies in the Mediterranean unremitting, what are the prospects for enhanced international cooperation to address these humanitarian emergencies more effectively and with proper regard for the rights of refugees?