Dr. Cosmin Corendea, UNU-EHS Associate Academic Officer and Legal Expert, was awarded a AXA Research Fund Post-Doctoral Fellowship for his research “Migration and Human Rights in the Wake of Climate Change” at the AXA Research Fund Annual Celebration today in Paris. Dr. Corendea’s research explores the relationship between environmental triggers, human rights violations, and migration decisions, in order to develop legal approaches that focus on vulnerable people affected by climate change.
The AXA Research Fund, the international scientific philanthropy initiative of global insurer AXA, announced that it will devote EUR 15.6 million in 2016 to 44 new research projects with leading academic institutions in 16 countries.
Dr. Corendea has long worked to raise awareness of the connection between climate change and human rights. Dr. Corendea has always maintained that after an extreme climate event, like a major flood, the first thing to occur is a violation of someone’s basic rights, such as the right to clean water, education, work or housing and that soon thereafter the people affected must make a decision: adapt or migrate?
Already, the percentage of climate victims choosing to migrate has risen to over 30% and the number is expected to increase, bringing both benefits and risks for the countries involved. A legal framework is needed to manage those risks and Dr. Corendea is investigating how international law could address both human rights and help the most at-risk to respond to climate threats. Specifically, his study will focus on the Pacific Islands, in particular Fiji and Vanuatu, two of the countries affected by climate change in the region.
“The ultimate goal is to create regional migration policies, with respect to the Pacific’s human rights and where migration is a positive process,” says Dr. Corendea. He believes that the law in general, has the power to address diverse risks of climate change and the recent Paris Agreement is a good start in this regard.
Read more about Dr. Corendea’s research project “Migration and Human Rights in the Wake of Climate Change”