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Climate Refugees: Legal and Policy Responses to Environmentally-Induced Migration

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Kraler, Albert; Nack, Marion; Cernei, Tatiana
Conference: ClimMig Conference on Human Rights, Environmental Change, Migration and Displacement
Location: Vienna
Conf. Date: 20-21 September
Date: 2012
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/9980
Sector: Global Commons
Region:
Subject(s): climate
demography
development
Abstract: "The links between environmental factors and migration, as well as possible policy responses, have received increasing attention both in academic and policy debates in the past decade. Recent studies have shown that these links are more complex than traditionally thought. In particular, the attention paid to mobility caused or influenced by environmental factors needs to be complemented by attention to mobility towards areas under environmental strain, as well as to immobility in the context of environmental degradation. The role of migration and asylum policies is essentially limited. Nevertheless, they do have a role to play, particularly in the context of environmentally induced displacement. Based on a recent study for the European Parliament, this paper focuses on the potential of the current European Union policy framework to respond to environmentally induced displacement. To this end, the paper develops a typology of environmentally induced migration and reviews possible policy responses debated on the global level, thus identifying environmentally induced displacement as the most relevant type of mobility in the context of environmental risk that can be addressed by migration and asylum policies. Finally, the paper reviews the European Union policy framework and national protection policies of EU Member States (MS). While the current policy framework already allows accommodating environmentally induced displacement to some extent, the paper also shows several gaps and indicates possible direction s on how this framework can evolve."

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