Climate Change and Human Rights: The Status of Climate Refugees in Europe

About the Project

This project was selected as one of eight research projects in the context of the “Swiss Initiative to Commemorate the 60th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR)” of the Geneva Academy of International Humanitarian Law and Human Rights. A Panel of Eminent Persons (e.g. former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred Nowak) identified in its „Agenda on Human Rights” climate change as one of the main challenges to human rights nowadays. Thus the area “climate change and human rights” was regarded as deserving further research.

As part of this research project, the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR) published the study “Climate change and Human Rights: The Status of Climate Refugees in Europe.”

The aim of this project is to assess to what extent European States are under a legal obligation to accept “Climate Refugees”. On the basis of a working definition “Climate Refugee“, it was examined whether or to what extent the current EC asylum acquis and international protection standards (refugee law as well as international human rights regime) offer adequate protection for such persons. On the basis of this assessment, recommendations were elaborated in order to improve the situation of “climate refugees”.

The study by Margit Ammer is available here in the download section.

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Project Data

Country: European States
Persons involved: Margit Ammer (Project leader), Lisa Stadlmayr (Researcher)
Contact persons: Margit Ammer
Lead Organisation: Ludwig Boltzmann Institute of Fundamental and Human Rights (LBI-GMR)
Project start: 10/2008
Project end: 05/2009
Project completed: Yes
Funded by: Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs
Programme Line LBI-GMR: Asylum and Migration