Towards Recognition and Protection of Forced Environmental Migrants in the Public International Law: Refugee or IDPs Umbrella?
Policy Studies Organization (PSO) Summit, December 2011
22 Pages Posted: 28 Mar 2012 Last revised: 21 Jul 2013
Date Written: December 1, 2011
The aim of this article is to present the most influential theoretical approaches to the studies of environmentally-induced migrations. The concept of "environmental refugees" was introduced by Lester Brown in the 70s. However the extended concept of “environmental refugees” appears first in the eighties of the 20th century through the works of Essam El-Hinnawi (1985) and Jodi Jacobson (1988). The category of "environmental refugees" from the mid-nineties has been replaced by the less alarming (and legally neutral) terms such as "environmental migrants" and "environmentally displaced people."
The social consequences of the environmental processes under scrutiny are one of the greatest challenges the international community will face in the coming years. Today, the effects of long-standing environmental changes seem obvious to many citizens of our planet. Desertification, increasing soil salinity, wasteful deforestation, and rising sea levels are just a few of the issues discussed below which influence everyday life for at least two hundred million people worldwide.
Keywords: environmentally-induced displacement, internal displacement, environmental refugees, IDPs, international human rights law
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