Press briefing and launch of UNU-EHS publication “Migration and Human Rights in the Wake of Climate Change. A policy perspective over the Pacific.”
Thursday, 09 November 2017
Press Conference Room 1, Bula Zone, COP venue
On the Pacific Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu, people are migrating because of climate change. Despite both countries ratifying the 2015 UNFCCC Paris Climate Agreement, which makes strong reference to human rights in the context of climate change, new research published by UNU-EHS has revealed that local legal complexities are affecting the implementation of these elements of international climate law.
In a new publication, Migration and Human Rights in the Wake of Climate Change, UNU-EHS draws on extensive fieldwork and shows how the two contrasting systems of law that exist on the Pacific Islands, national and customary (kastom), are often contradicting each other – particularly over issues such as migration or human rights.
The research proposes key policy recommendations which can help to navigate these legal risks, at a time when Fiji makes history as the first “small island developing state” to preside over a UN climate change conference. The report suggests a way forward towards a realization of human rights for climate change-related migration in a way that embraces customary law – and the local communities on the frontlines of climate change.
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