Law and Policy: legal instruments, climate migrants and refugees

Lauren Nishimura
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16:00 - 17:15
Centre on Migration, Policy and Society (COMPAS) - Online via Zoom
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Lectures and seminars
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International frameworks and institutional responses: Confronting the challenges of climate change and human mobility

The link between climate change and human mobility is widely recognized: migration and displacement in the context of climate change is already occurring, and more people are expected to be affected as climate impacts increase in frequency, intensity, and duration. The nature of such mobility is complex and its scale uncertain, with much that can be done to help prevent and mitigate forced or precious migration. To do so will require efforts across multiple levels of governance. This presentation focuses on international legal frameworks and institutions. It seeks to answer questions about how international organizations can confront the challenges posed by climate change and its impacts on mobility. How are these organizations currently responding, where do they fall short, and what opportunities are there for action in the future? To help provide answers, the presentation will connect a discussion of their efforts to an analysis of the conceptual challenges raised by the nexus of climate change and human mobility and the international legal frameworks that could be brought to bear on this nexus. These frameworks must include both those aimed at providing international protection for migrants and refugees and those not typically thought to address mobility. The presentation will close with a discussion of ways forward that could help address the rights and needs of migrants in the context of climate change.

Lauren Nishimura is a lawyer and scholar with experience across academic, non-profit, and private sector settings in Southeast Asia, the United Kingdom, and the United States.