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The Curious Phenomenon of “Environmental Migration/Displacement” and the Role of International Law in Cross-Border Protection

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Chapter Summary

This chapter analyses and conceptualises "environmental migration/displacement" and argues that this type of migration/displacement should rather be seen as belonging to a broader category of migration/displacement. Next, it examines the role of international law in the protection of survival migrants. The chapter investigates the possibility of developing a legal protection mechanism for survival migrants through the framework of international human rights law. It concludes by noting that the existing legal protection framework for survival migrants is unclear and inadequate, and that it is difficult to legally establish that one of the most important rights for forced migrants, i.e. the right to be protected against forcible return or refoulement, applies to survival migrants. Finding an adequate method to determine who belongs to the category of survival migration and who does not would be likely to create a new opening towards the development of a legal protection mechanism for survival migrants.

Keywords:cross-border protection; displacement; environmental migration; international human rights law; international law; survival migrants



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