climate refugee

Disasters and refugee protection – a socio-legal case study from Yemen

Every year millions of people are forced to flee their homes in the context of climate change and disasters. Their needs and rights are unclear. This paper presents and discusses some findings from a socio-legal case study exploring the rights of disaster-affected Somalis and Ethiopians in Yemen. The first main findings relate to the challenges that Ethiopians face in accessing, and succeeding with, the formal asylum process. This is discussed in light of legal aid theory and research as well as research on credibility assessments. Another category of findings relates to interactions of local, religious law and international law. This is discussed in light of legal pluralism, which helps in identifying an emancipatory potential. While complex, dynamic and depending on regional politics and other factors, the way Islamic law is applied - and influences other bodies of law - seems to ensure better protection than the 1951 Refugee Convention alone. This potential should be further explored and possibly expanded in order to strengthen the rights of people displaced in the context of climate change and disasters more generally.

Read the full conference paper
here.

Seminar: Climate change and displacement - the role of law

On 3rd February, the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Law Faculty at the University of Oslo organised a seminar on climate change, displacement and the law.

Professor Walter Kälin who is political envoy of the Nansen Initiative was one of the speakers.

Marianne Karlsen, from Ministry of Climate and Environment, explained how displacement was recognised in the UN climate negotiations.

I presented some main findings from my doctoral thesis. The Introduction (“kappa”) is available
here.

An audio-visual from the seminar is available here.