07 September 2012

Refugee Claims Based on Climate Change

Jane McAdam very nicely replied to my question posed in yesterday's post.  She wrote to say that her book, Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law (Oxford Univ. Press, 2012), references other refugee cases that have involved climate change claims. In her chapter on "The Relevance of International Refugee Law," she notes that previous claimants have mainly come from Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Tonga and have attempted to seek protection in Australia and New Zealand (p. 47). She goes on to list the various decisions that have been issued by the NZ Refugee Status Appeals Authority (now the Immigration and Protection Tribunal) and the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal in a footnote on the same page.  None have been positive.

A list of climate change-related cases is also provided in an earlier paper by Jane, entitled "Climate Change Displacement and International Law: Complementary Protection Standards."

I decided to check Refworld to see what relevant case law it includes.  It currently only provides access to two decisions, one from the RRT involving a claimant from Kiribati and one from the RSAA involving claimants from Tuvalu - but perhaps the Refworld team can be persuaded to include the other ones highlighted in Jane's book!

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