International Legal Protection for Climate Change Refugees

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Title: International Legal Protection for Climate Change Refugees
Author: Mohammad Hossein Zadeh Hashemi, Hoora
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Oikeustieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Law
Helsingfors universitet, Juridiska fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingfors universitet
Date: 2014
Language: eng
Thesis level: master's thesis
Discipline: International law
Kansainvälinen oikeus
Abstract: The first migration due to severe changes in climate date back to centuries ago. However, in the past, climatic factors have not been as significant as the climate change we are currently experiencing. Sea level rise, frequency of the extreme weather, and drought and water scarcity are main impacts of climate change on humans’ lives. In most vulnerable places, these effects lead to disasters which may force millions of inhabitants to leave their usual homelands. Some studies estimate that over the course of this century, more than 200 million people will be displaced, temporarily or permanently, as a result of climate change. This thesis primarily aims to demonstrate that whether the existing refugee protection system is able to provide protection for climate change refugees. Given the specific requirements of the protection of this emerging group of refugees, this thesis demonstrates that the current refugee protection instruments, both in a regional or international level, seem incapable to cover climate change-induced displaced persons. Therefore, a number of different academic proposals have been drafted to provide protection for climate change refugees. Amendment to the existing instruments, adaptation of a protocol, or creation of an independent framework are common categories of these protective proposals. As the second question of this thesis, a few numbers of proposed frameworks are examined to point out their strengths and weaknesses.

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