The Climate-Induced Migration: What Protection for Displaced People?

By Marilyn Tremblay and Marie-Ève St-Onge Trudel.

Published by The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Scientific experts tend to be unanimous about the climate changes that we are witnessing nowadays. Impacts such as a rise of ocean level, severe droughts and more frequent extreme meteorological events will affect population worldwide. Indeed, it can be argued that rights protected in international and regional human rights’ instruments could be violated following states’ inaction to handle global warming. Climate change will particularly induce forced migration by amplifying existing factors that could lead to migration such as economical, political and social factors. There are currently no specific legal instruments dedicated to the protection of climate-induced migrants. This is partly due to the fact that states are reluctant to shape policy responses. Consequently, it is relevant to explore various domains of Public International Law in order to find out the extent of protection provided to this category of migrants. The domains explored in this paper are the refugee law, the statelessness and the human rights law. After assessing a lack of protection for these migrants, some explanations will be given concerning the unwillingness of States to address this matter. This explanations include the state's sovereignty concept, the immigration policies and border control and the global governance system.

Keywords: Human Rights, Climate Change, Forced Migration, Statelessness, Migration, Sovereignty, Refugees

The International Journal of Climate Change: Impacts and Responses, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp.67-81. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 718.810KB).

Marilyn Tremblay

Student, Social Sciences Faculty, Laval University, Quebec, Quebec, Canada

Marilyn Tremblay is a graduate student in Law at Laval University in Québec (LL. M.). Her master’s thesis, under the direction of Pr. Olivier Delas, focuses on the protection offered by public international law to environmentally displaced people. Marilyn Tremblay is also the coordinator of the Cercle Europe (Faculté de Droit - HEI) at Laval University, which organizes conferences and colloquiums.

Marie-Ève St-Onge Trudel

Student, Social Sciences Faculty, Laval University, Quebec, Quebec, Canada

Marie-Ève St-Onge Trudel graduated in Public Affairs and International Relations. She is currently achieving a Master’s in International Journalism at Laval University. In 2013, she carried out a study semester abroad at the École Supérieure de Journalisme of Lille, in France. Marie-Ève St-Onge Trudel’s main interests are related to national and international politics and law issues. She aims to broaden these fields with journalism.

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