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Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law

Displacement caused by climate change is an area of growing concern. With current rises in sea levels and changes to the global climate, it is an issue of fundamental importance to the future of many parts of the world. This book critically examines whether States have obligations to protect people displaced by climate change under international refugee law, international human rights law, and the international law on statelessness. Drawing on field work undertaken in Bangladesh, India, and the Pacific island states of Kiribati and Tuvalu, it evaluates whether the phenomenon of 'climate change-induced displacement' is an empirically sound category for academic inquiry. It does so by examining the reasons why people move (or choose not to move); the extent to which climate change, as opposed to underlying socio-economic factors, provides a trigger for such movement; and whether traditional international responses, such as the conclusion of new treaties and the creation of new institutions, are appropriate solutions in this context. In this way, the book queries whether flight from habitat destruction should be viewed as another facet of traditional international protection or as a new challenge requiring more creative legal and policy responses.
Product Details

Table of Contents

Introduction ; 1. Conceptualizing Climate Change-Related Movement ; 2. The Relevance of International Refugee Law ; 3. Climate Change-Related Movement and International Human Rights Law: The Role of Complementary Protection ; 4. State Practice on Protection from Disasters and Related Harms ; 5. 'Disappearing States', Statelessness, and Relocation ; 6. Moving with Dignity: Responding to Climate Change-Related Mobility in Bangladesh ; 7. 'Protection' or 'Migration'? The 'Climate Refugee' Treaty Debate ; 8. Institutional Governance ; 9. Overarching Normative Principles ; Conclusion

About the Author

Jane McAdam is Scientia Professor of Law and an Australian Research Council Future Fellow in the Faculty of Law at the University of New South Wales, Australia. She is the Director of the International Refugee and Migration Law project at the Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law; a non-resident Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution, Washington DC; and a Research Associate at the Refugee Studies Centre, University of Oxford.


Climate change, Forced Migration, and International Law provides a clear and lucid overview of the relationships between the three. Over the 270 pages of content, Jane McAdam gives us a thoughtful and coherent analysis on this difficult topic...the book also exhibits a rigorous approach to research. * HA Lisi, Chinese Journal of International Law * The author offers a deep, sophisticated look at climate change and human rights law. * Natural Hazards Observer * The issues McAdam addresses are undoubtedly complex and cover a multitude of disciplinary areas. Whilst the overarching approach of this text is a consideration of the international legal aspects of climate change and forced migration it is eminently engaging and the relevance of the issues raised are undoubtedly of importance far beyond the individuals and communities most directly impacted. This remains an emerging field of study and the book serves as a very well-thought-through and informative introduction to issues that will only increase in significance in the very near future. * Roy Smith, Journal of New Zealand and Pacific Studies *

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