IIT Madras researchers urge countries to absorb people fleeing due to climate change

IANSUpdated: Thursday, June 02, 2022, 01:14 PM IST
article-image
IIT Madras researchers urge countries to absorb people fleeing due to climate change | IStock images

Madras: Researchers at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras urged countries to accept all asylum seekers on Thursday, citing climate change as a driving force behind migration. Under the principle of "nonrefoulement," the researchers asked countries to take in persons fleeing owing to the effects of climate change.

"This will ensure that refugees are not forced to return to their home countries to face harm," the institute shared in a statement.

Non-refoulement is a fundamental principle of international law that forbids a country receiving asylum seekers from returning them to a country in which they would be in likely danger of persecution based on "race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion".


Further, proposing a normative framework with responses to address cross-border migration, published in the peer-reviewed journal WIRES Climate Change, the researchers noted that the asylum seekers from vulnerable zones must be absorbed in host countries in proportion to their greenhouse gas emissions.

They stated 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."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," said Prof. Sudhir Chella Rajan, Department of Humanities and Social Sciences, IIT Madras, in the statement."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," he added.


Climate scientists have known for more than a decade that tens of millions of people, if not more, will be forcibly displaced from some of the poorest countries as a result of climate change.


The study pointed to data from the global non-profit Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, which showed that 40.5 million people were newly displaced in 2020 and 30 million among these were forcibly displaced due to weather-related disasters."If their countries are no longer viable homes through no fault of their own, the international community has a moral responsibility to provide refuge," Rajan said.


The researchers said there is the absence of a coherent institutional and legal framework at the international and national levels to protect the rights of climate exiles. This creates an urgent need to work on international law to protect climate exiles.

(To receive our E-paper on whatsapp daily, please click here. To receive it on Telegram, please click here. We permit sharing of the paper's PDF on WhatsApp and other social media platforms.)

RECENT STORIES

Maharashtra govt reshuffles portfolios of 9 rebel MLAs of Shinde camp, here's a list of who got...

Maharashtra govt reshuffles portfolios of 9 rebel MLAs of Shinde camp, here's a list of who got...

Mumbai: Latest Updates - Won't arrest actor in 21 FIRs registered against her, Maharashtra govt...

Mumbai: Latest Updates - Won't arrest actor in 21 FIRs registered against her, Maharashtra govt...

Jammu and Kashmir: Security forces gun down two terrorists in encounter in Kulgam

Jammu and Kashmir: Security forces gun down two terrorists in encounter in Kulgam

Maharashtra: SC admits Shiv Sena matter, schedules next hearing on July 11

Maharashtra: SC admits Shiv Sena matter, schedules next hearing on July 11

Opener Mayank Agarwal to join Indian team ahead of Edgbaston Test as back up for unwell Rohit Sharma

Opener Mayank Agarwal to join Indian team ahead of Edgbaston Test as back up for unwell Rohit Sharma