Climate Change-Related Movement and International Human Rights Law: The Role of Complementary Protection

Jane Mcadam

in Climate Change, Forced Migration, and International Law

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199587087
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738494 | DOI:
Climate Change-Related Movement and International Human Rights Law: The Role of Complementary Protection

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This chapter examines the extent to which existing universal and regional standards on complementary protection offer protection options for those forcibly displaced across international borders as a result of climate change-related impacts. It assesses the degree to which a progressive interpretation of the law is required to expand protection opportunities for people displaced by climate change, and the extent to which it might already accommodate them. It examines: firstly, whether, when, and to what extent certain socio-economic forms of harm may be regarded as triggering the principle of non-refoulement; secondly, whether they can do so independently, or whether they need to be re-characterized as violations of civil and political rights already recognized as mandating this (such as a violation of the right to life); and, finally, whether they may form part of the progressive development of the principle of non-refoulement, as foreshadowed by international treaty monitoring bodies, the European Court of Human Rights, and the House of Lords (now Supreme Court). The final part of the chapter examines whether States may be held responsible for climate change under international environmental law, and if so, whether this provides another cause of action for people displaced on account of climate change impacts.

Keywords: complementary protection; climate change impact; displacement; non-refoulement; international environmental law

Chapter.  28186 words. 

Subjects: Public International Law

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