Absorb people migrating due to climate change, IIT researchers say

Migrations results have multiple factors says the study, which points out that the internal displacement monitoring center reports that 40.5 million people were newly displaced in 2020 and 30 million among these were forcibly displaced due to weather-related disasters.
Absorb people migrating due to climate change, IIT researchers say
Indian Institute of Technology MadrasFile Photo

CHENNAI: Indian Institute of Technology Madras Researchers working with an independent research scholar has suggested a normative framework to address cross-border migration due to climate change.

With climate change intensifying the push to migrate, researchers have suggested that all asylum seekers have to be absorbed into host countries under the principle of 'non-refoulment', a release from IIT Madras on Thursday said. This will ensure that refugees are not forced to return to their home countries to face harm.

Also, asylum seekers from vulnerable zones must be absorbed in host countries in proportion to their greenhouse gas emissions. The researchers conclude that given the severity of the anticipated Global Environmental Changes and associated harms, taking early and appropriate action is vital.

However, the question ‘did this person migrate because of climate change?’ may never be fully answered, the release added.

Speaking about the need for such research, Prof. Sudhir Chella Rajan, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, said, “In recent years, the increased risks of environmental hazards, including climate change, have intensified the push to migrate. One such case is the teeming slums of Bangladesh’s capital Dhaka, where the residents are on the frontlines of a climate crisis. People living along the coast have been migrating to the Bangladeshi capital due to monsoon flooding and cyclones caused by rising sea levels. For these residents, the worsening climate change is not a faraway threat. It is a grim reality.”

Migrations results have multiple factors says the study, which points out that the internal displacement monitoring center reports that 40.5 million people were newly displaced in 2020 and 30 million among these were forcibly displaced due to weather-related disasters.

"Usually, migration is a result of compound factors. The multiple interconnections among the drivers of migration - a combination of ongoing Global Environmental Changes (GECs) as they interact with social, economic, and political conditions - makes it difficult to identify GEC as the only or proximate cause of migration,” the release added.

Hence, researchers have identified a normative framework that highlights that the prevailing international law is barely adequate to protect the entire class of forcibly displaced people, it said.

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