Developing a New Protocol for Refugees Displaced by Climate Change

The World Bank estimates that 143 million people will be displaced by climate change in Latin America, sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia by 2050. Yet, learning from the mistakes of COVID-19, the world can and must be prepared. The virus has shown that investment in preparedness for the next crisis is one of the smartest economic decisions governments can take to avoid the catastrophic costs of an unplanned and uncoordinated response after the fact. With appropriate action, planned migration can provide immense opportunities for migrants, host communities and communities of origin. Together, we can and must work now, to mitigate the consequences of will be the world’s next forced migration crisis with the human rights of migrants at the core of our efforts.

If there is a silver lining to the global pandemic, it can be found in clearer skies, cleaner water and a chance to take major steps forward to mitigate global warming and avert its worst consequences.  To this end, in spring of 2020, a group of forward-thinking organizations led by the WRMC have come together to talk about prevention and preparation for, what we know will be one of the most challenging consequences of climate change – climate migration.  

The project will:

  1. Promote the development of a clear global governance regime to define the principles, norms, rules and decision-making procedures for climate affected persons.  
  2. Articulate a global legal framework to define the rights of climate migrants consistent with humanitarian and human rights law.
  3. Mainstreaming gender in all aspects of migration policy.  
  4. Increased investment in prevention to minimize the adverse drivers and structural factors of climate change that compel people to leave their country of origin.
  5. Expansion of opportunities for voluntary migration, or migration with dignity pathways provided to vulnerable or at-risk populations as a core adaptation mechanism.
  6. Foster Converging National Policies.
  7. Creation of a Knowledge and Science Hub.