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By Pascal Laureyn
This article is part of a series about the activists and communities of the Pacific and small island states who are responding to the effects of climate change. Leaders from climate and social justice movements from around the world met in Suva, Fiji from 4-8 December for International Civil Society Week.
By Thalif Deen
UNITED NATIONS, Nov 29 2017 (IPS) - The 1951 UN convention on political refugees– which never foresaw the phenomenon of climate change– permits refugee status only if one “has a well-founded fear of persecution because of his/her race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group or political opinion.”
But a proposal for an amendment to that Convention—or an optional protocol — to include a new category of “environmental refugees” has failed to get off the ground.
By Laurie Goering
LONDON, Nov 9 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Pacific islanders may be among the first people in the world forced to migrate as a clear result of climate change - but a range of thorny legal obstacles stands in the way of that happening successfully, researchers warned on Thursday.
Addressing those now, and putting in place a regional plan to deal with migration before it picks up speed, will be key to avoiding a future emergency, they said.
Climate change is already forcing millions of people from their land and homes, and putting many more at risk of displacement in the future. Supercharged storms, more intense and prolonged droughts, rising seas and other impacts of climate change all exacerbate people’s existing vulnerabilities and increase the likelihood of being forced to move.
On Monday 16 October 2017 the Council adopted the EU Annual Report on Human Rights And Democracy in the World in 2016.
2016 was a challenging year for human rights and democracy, with a shrinking space for civil society and complex humanitarian and political crises emerging. In this context, the European Union showed leadership and remained strongly committed to promote and protect human rights and democracy across the world.
The map below shows asylum applications by under age 18 year olds and gender. Darker colours mean more people have applied in a certain country. Use the slider to select a year or the drop down menus below to display data for different age groups or different home countries.
Each year natural and climate change induced disasters displace tens of millions of people across the globe, mostly within their own country but there have been circumstances when people displaced by disasters have had to seek shelter by crossing international borders. Human mobility and cross-border displacement is recognised as a keyhumanitarian issue in this day in age.
This issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor updates the 2015 and 2016 GDP growth and inflation projections for ADB's Pacific developing member countries. The policy briefs included in this issue focus on disasters in the Pacific.
Highlights from this issue of the Pacific Economic Monitor include the following:
Snapshot 10–16 June 2015
Ebola in Sierra Leone and Guinea: Weekly Ebola case incidence has risen for two consecutive weeks. Guinea recorded 16 new cases in the week to 7 June, five from unknown chains of transmission. Sierra Leone recorded 15 cases, the highest weekly total since late March. It has extended the state of emergency for 90 days.
Snapshot 3-9 June 2015
Yemen: 20 million people, close to 80% of the population, are estimated to need humanitarian aid. 500,000 people were displaced in May, bringing the total displaced since 26 March to more than 1 million. The escalation in the conflict has meant two million more people are food insecure, and six million more lack access to healthcare, and 9.4 million lack access to safe water.
Snapshot 28 May–2 June 2015
Iraq: 104,000 IDPs from Ramadi district over 15–29 May brings the total number of displaced in Anbar to 238,000 since April. They are facing serious restrictions accessing neighbouring governorates. In Anbar, Islamic State abducted 400 children in the last week of May. The humanitarian response for Syria is facing severe cutbacks due to funding shortages.
Mali: Gao and Timbutku regions have been the scene of multiple clashes between the Azawad Movement Coalition and Malian forces, as well as the pro-government Gatia militia. At least 12 people have been killed, including nine civilians. About 31,500 people have been displaced from three districts in Timbuktu region. They are in urgent needs of water, food, NFIs, and shelter support, but access is limited.
Iraq: Islamic State have taken control of Ramadi. 500 died and 42,840 people fled fighting in the city over 16–17 May, adding to the 180,000 displaced in Anbar since early April. Access to new IDPs in Habbaniyah, Khadiyah district, is limited due to insecurity, and health concerns are growing.
Snapshot 6–12 May 2015
Iraq: Conflict has escalated in a number of locations. In Anbar, fighting has displaced more than 47,000 in Karmah district, and more than 133,000 around Ramadi. Clashes between Islamic State and government forces have intensified around Baiji oil refinery, in Salah al Din.
Børge Brende and Didier Burkhalter
While the international community has already been addressing many aspects of disasters, climate change and human mobility, in order to really make progress it is essential to bring together different strands of the discussion so as to develop a comprehensive response that also anticipates future challenges associated with climate change. The Governments of Norway and Switzerland are contributing to the development of future responses to disaster displacement through the Nansen Initiative
Snapshot 29 April–5 May 2015
Nepal: The death toll from the earthquake has reached 7,250, with more than 14,000 injured. Aftershocks are still occurring, and some villages have still not been reached. 300,000 homes are estimated to need rebuilding or repair.
Yemen: The estimated number of IDPs has doubled since 17 April to reach 300,000, as conflict continues. Food distribution, health, and WASH systems are on the verge of collapse, due in large part to severe fuel shortages.
Snapshot 22–28 April 2015
Nepal: The 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the country on 25 April has affected 8 million people. As of 28 April, 5,057 people have been reported dead, and more than 8,500 injured. Hundreds of thousands of people are living in tents, while the villages closest to the quake’s epicentre remain inaccessible.
Snapshot 15–21 April 2015
Iraq Violence has displaced 14,000 families in and around Ramadi: 7,000 in Anbar; 5,000 in Baghdad, 2,000 on their way to Baghdad. Checkpoints and insecurity hamper IDP movement. UNICEF estimates 8.29 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance, up from 5.2 million in February.
Snapshot 9–14 April 2015
Afghanistan: Security incidents have spiked in early April, after the announcement that more NATO troops would remain in the country than originally scheduled. NATO convoys were targeted in Nangarhar and Kabul on 10 April. On the same day, five NGO staff were found dead, having been abducted in Uruzgan province in early March.
Snapshot 1–8 April 2015
Iraq: Violence, looting and serious human rights violations were reported as Iraqi forces and affiliated groups recaptured Tikrit. There are numerous booby traps and tensions are reportedly rising between government forces and militias. Elsewhere, IDPs are returning: tens of thousands have gone home to Diyala, Ninewa and Al Alam in Salah al Din since February.