Faculté des lettres et sciences humaines

Framing Labour Mobility Options in Small Island States Affected by Environmental Changes

Fornalé, Elisa ; Guélat, Jeremie ; Piguet, Etienne

In: Environmental Migration and Social Inequality, 2016, vol. 61, p. 167-187

It has been forecast that up to forty nation-states are at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels related to climate warming. Such a situation would lead to a form of statelessness never experienced before in history and would raise serious concerns about migration as well as important legal questions. Although often mentioned in the media by NGOs and other international bodies, this issue... Plus

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    Summary
    It has been forecast that up to forty nation-states are at risk of disappearing due to rising sea levels related to climate warming. Such a situation would lead to a form of statelessness never experienced before in history and would raise serious concerns about migration as well as important legal questions. Although often mentioned in the media by NGOs and other international bodies, this issue has rarely been addressed by legal scholars or by social scientists specialized in migration studies. This chapter examines the available literature on the topic and presents basic geographic data to assess the validity of the danger. We then discuss the legal frameworks and policies that could be developed to mitigate the threat of climate change related statelessness, a concept that remains in need of clarification under both international law and human rights law. This chapter seeks to explore legal means to deal with populations displaced by the adverse impacts of climate change, that are consistent with a state’s existing international legal obligations. The ongoing debate about this challenge aims to identify normative measures to secure a legal status for forced migrants, who risk becoming stateless when their state disappears.