Presentation on theme: "Migration Caused by Environmental Changes Ivan Ivandić."— Presentation transcript:
Migration Caused by Environmental Changes Ivan Ivandić
Statistics The number of natural disasters has doubled over the past decade from 200 to 400 per year (UNHCR) In 2008, 20 million of people were displaced due to floods and storms Increased number of hurricanes and floods, reduction of water availability
The concept of envirnonmental migration “Environmental migrants are persons or groups of persons who, for reasons of sudden or progressive changes in the environment that adversely affect their lives or living conditions, are obliged to have to leave their habitual homes, or choose to do so, either temporarily or permanently, and who move either within ther territory or abroad” International Organization for Migration (IOM), 2007 No legally binding instrument No official term
Responsibility National government The doctrine of the “Responsibility to Protect”
UN Guiding Principles in Internal Displacement, not legally binding - … forced or obliged to flee or leave… as a result of… natural or human-made disasters Until 1998, UN assumed the responsibility of 22,4 million people, whilst by the end of 2008 – 34,4 million “UNHCR would not recognise environmental migrants in the refugee framework of 1951 nor would environmental migrants be eligible for additional protection similar to that which (conflict) IDP’s receive.”, Constantin Hruschka, spokesman of UNHCR
EU Leaving the “moral hazard” principle Increasingly proactive stance on ozone depletion Leading participant in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) European values and “inclusive identity” vs. “fortress of Europe” concept Finland and Swedish “Aliens Act” as an example Will the fight for human rights triumph over the fear for security?
The Legal European Framework Principle of non-refoulment Directive 2001/55/EC (Temporary Protection Directive) Directive 2011/95 (Recast Qualification Directive)
Directive 2001/55 – Temporary Protection Directive ‘displaced persons’ means third-country nationals or stateless persons who have had to leave their country or region of origin, or have been evacuated, in particular in response to an appeal by international organisations, and are unable to return in safe and durable conditions because of the situation prevailing in that country, who may fall within the scope of Article 1A of the Geneva Convention or other international or national instruments giving international protection, in particular: (i) persons who have fled areas of armed conflict or endemic violence; (ii) persons at serious risk of, or who have been the victims of, systematic or generalised violations of their human rights; (Article 2(c) of the Directive)
Directive 2011/95 (Recast Qualification Directive) ‘person eligible for subsidiary protection’ means a third- country national or a stateless person who does not qualify as a refugee but in respect of whom substantial grounds have been shown for believing that the person concerned, if returned to his or her country of origin, or in the case of a stateless person, to his or her country of former habitual residence, would face a real risk of suffering serious harm as defined in Article 15, and to whom Article 17(1) and (2) does not apply, and is unable, or, owing to such risk, unwilling to avail himself or herself of the protection of that country; (Art. 2 (f))
Directive 2011/95 (Recast Qualification Directive) Serious harm consists of: (a) the death penalty or execution; or (b) torture or inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of an applicant in the country of origin; or (c) serious and individual threat to a civilian’s life or person by reason of indiscriminate violence in situations of inter national or internal armed conflict. (Art. 15)
Directive 2011/95 (Recast Qualification Directive) Member States may consider it the duty of the applicant to submit as soon as possible all the elements needed to substantiate the application for international protection. In cooperation with the applicant, it is the duty of the Member State to assess the relevant elements of the application. (art. 4) Member states may accord a time limit to an application Time limit is not set in: Bulgaria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Romania and Finland
Different approach Increased migration to Europe as a direct result of environmental change is unlikely. Those affected by environmental change are more likely to migrate to urban areas where economic opportunities are greater but where there are increased risks of negative climate or environmental change. Some populations affected by environmental change may find it difficult to move (and may become, in effect, trapped) even though migration is their best strategy to improve their life chances.
Conclusion “If we do not officially recognise that there is such a person as “an environmental refugee”, we have no responsibility for them. If they are a reugee, we have responsibilities and they have rights” (Jean Lambert, a Green MEP from the UK)