Policy Briefs Books Journals

Climate Change and Conflict Policy Brief  No.119 - November, 2021

Vanishing Homelands:
Climate Security, Displacement and Human Rights:
A Pacific Focus

Climate change is having profound impacts on the displacement of communities and the stability of peace and security. As climate displacement continues to rise at an unprecedented rate, it is compounded by many variables which can be described collectively as ‘nexus dynamics’. This Policy Brief examines the protection of climate-displaced people, highlighting the limitations and effectiveness of existing refugee frameworks. It recognises a shift in the factors driving human displacement, such as climate change, which are not limited to ‘the fear of persecution’, as has traditionally defined ‘refugees’. This Brief advocates for the implementation of a human rights-based framework to protect and preserve the life and dignity of those embarking on a relocation process, whether forced or voluntary. It discusses how displacement is impacting the Pacific Region which is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and is experiencing vanishing homelands due to rising sea levels. The conclusion offers a range of policy recommendations designed to assist Pacific states in the protection and support of climate-displaced persons and in the maintenance of peace and security.