Advanced

Refugee Status Determination in the Context of 'Natural' Disasters and Climate Change : A Human Rights-Based Approach

Scott, Matthew LU (2018)
Abstract (Swedish)
This thesis is concerned with refugee status determination (RSD) in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change. Considering evidence that the legal predicament of people who seek recognition of refugee status in this connection has been inconsistently addressed by judicial bodies in leading refugee law jurisdictions, and identifying theoretical as well as doctrinal impediments to a clear and principled application of international refugee law in this connection, the thesis asks the question ‘in what kinds of circumstances may a person establish, within the meaning of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason in... (More)
This thesis is concerned with refugee status determination (RSD) in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change. Considering evidence that the legal predicament of people who seek recognition of refugee status in this connection has been inconsistently addressed by judicial bodies in leading refugee law jurisdictions, and identifying theoretical as well as doctrinal impediments to a clear and principled application of international refugee law in this connection, the thesis asks the question ‘in what kinds of circumstances may a person establish, within the meaning of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change?’

Arguing that RSD cannot safely be performed without a clear understanding of the relationship between natural hazards and human agency, the thesis draws insights from disaster anthropology and political ecology that see discrimination as a contributory cause of people’s differential exposure and vulnerability to disaster-related harm. This theoretical framework, combined with insights derived from the review of existing doctrinal and judicial approaches, prompts a critical revision of the dominant human rights-based approach to being persecuted, which is argued to be event-based and preoccupied with the nature of the harm, rather than the discriminatory context in which exposure and vulnerability arise. A novel human rights-based interpretation of the refugee definition is adopted and applied in answer to the research question.
(Less)
Abstract
This thesis is concerned with refugee status determination (RSD) in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change. Considering evidence that the legal predicament of people who seek recognition of refugee status in this connection has been inconsistently addressed by judicial bodies in leading refugee law jurisdictions, and identifying theoretical as well as doctrinal impediments to a clear and principled application of international refugee law in this connection, the thesis asks the question ‘in what kinds of circumstances may a person establish, within the meaning of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason in... (More)
This thesis is concerned with refugee status determination (RSD) in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change. Considering evidence that the legal predicament of people who seek recognition of refugee status in this connection has been inconsistently addressed by judicial bodies in leading refugee law jurisdictions, and identifying theoretical as well as doctrinal impediments to a clear and principled application of international refugee law in this connection, the thesis asks the question ‘in what kinds of circumstances may a person establish, within the meaning of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change?’

Arguing that RSD cannot safely be performed without a clear understanding of the relationship between natural hazards and human agency, the thesis draws insights from disaster anthropology and political ecology that see discrimination as a contributory cause of people’s differential exposure and vulnerability to disaster-related harm. This theoretical framework, combined with insights derived from the review of existing doctrinal and judicial approaches, prompts a critical revision of the dominant human rights-based approach to being persecuted, which is argued to be event-based and preoccupied with the nature of the harm, rather than the discriminatory context in which exposure and vulnerability arise. A novel human rights-based interpretation of the refugee definition is adopted and applied in answer to the research question.
(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
supervisor
opponent
  • Professor Foster, Michelle, University of Melbourne
organization
publishing date
type
Thesis
publication status
published
subject
keywords
Human Rights, Public International Law, Climate Change, Interpretation, Persecution, Well-Founded Fear, Discrimination, Refugee, Disaster, Folkrätt, Mänskliga rättigheter , Flyktingrätt
pages
397 pages
publisher
Lund University (Media-Tryck)
defense location
Pufendorfsalen, Juridiska institutionen, Lilla Gråbrödersgatan 3C, Lund
defense date
2018-05-22 10:15
ISBN
978-91-7753-642-0
978-91-7753-641-3
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
8a7e5a93-cc14-46fc-ad26-7f03a4c81cd4
date added to LUP
2018-04-24 15:18:08
date last changed
2019-01-14 07:38:43
@phdthesis{8a7e5a93-cc14-46fc-ad26-7f03a4c81cd4,
  abstract     = {This thesis is concerned with refugee status determination (RSD) in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change. Considering evidence that the legal predicament of people who seek recognition of refugee status in this connection has been inconsistently addressed by judicial bodies in leading refugee law jurisdictions, and identifying theoretical as well as doctrinal impediments to a clear and principled application of international refugee law in this connection, the thesis asks the question ‘in what kinds of circumstances may a person establish, within the meaning of Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, a well-founded fear of being persecuted for a Convention reason in the context of ‘natural’ disasters and climate change?’<br/><br/>Arguing that RSD cannot safely be performed without a clear understanding of the relationship between natural hazards and human agency, the thesis draws insights from disaster anthropology and political ecology that see discrimination as a contributory cause of people’s differential exposure and vulnerability to disaster-related harm. This theoretical framework, combined with insights derived from the review of existing doctrinal and judicial approaches, prompts a critical revision of the dominant human rights-based approach to being persecuted, which is argued to be event-based and preoccupied with the nature of the harm, rather than the discriminatory context in which exposure and vulnerability arise. A novel human rights-based interpretation of the refugee definition is adopted and applied in answer to the research question.<br/>},
  author       = {Scott, Matthew},
  isbn         = {978-91-7753-642-0},
  keyword      = {Human Rights,Public International Law,Climate Change,Interpretation,Persecution,Well-Founded Fear,Discrimination,Refugee,Disaster,Folkrätt,Mänskliga rättigheter ,Flyktingrätt},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {04},
  pages        = {397},
  publisher    = {Lund University (Media-Tryck)},
  school       = {Lund University},
  title        = {Refugee Status Determination in the Context of 'Natural' Disasters and Climate Change : A Human Rights-Based Approach},
  year         = {2018},
}