People migrating due to environmental disasters should be accorded ‘refugee’ status in international law


An increasing number of people globally are facing displacement due to droughts, famines, rising sea levels and other natural disasters caused by climate change. This class of migrants has been labelled as ‘environmental refugees’ in popular literature. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, an international body reviewing trends of internal displacement, an estimated 24 million people are being displaced annually by natural disasters since 2008. This crisis will make almost half a billion people worldwide “environmental refugees” by the end of the century.

The UN Refugee Convention (1951) grants certain rights to people fleeing persecution because of race, religion, nationality, affiliation to a particular social group, or political opinion. The rights they are entitled to follow principles of non-discrimination, non-penalisation, and non-refoulement..................Read more

 

Source: The Hindu


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