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Cross-border Displacement: Prevent, Prepare or Adapt to?

Sepka, Monica LU (2017) VBRM15 20171
Division of Risk Management and Societal Safety
Abstract
Despite the fact that some forecasts suggest that a large number of individuals could become displaced by 2050, the institutional and operational linkages between climate and cross-border displacement continues to be complex. While refugees and IDPs are treated according to specific treaties, the status of cross-border displacement as a result of disasters suffers from a normative gap and the linkages between disaster displacement, its drivers and risk reduction seems rather underrepresented in existing research. The purpose of this research is to investigate if cross-border displacement is adequately addressed in institutional and operational frameworks, and how transboundary and regional cooperation plays a role in mitigating... (More)
Despite the fact that some forecasts suggest that a large number of individuals could become displaced by 2050, the institutional and operational linkages between climate and cross-border displacement continues to be complex. While refugees and IDPs are treated according to specific treaties, the status of cross-border displacement as a result of disasters suffers from a normative gap and the linkages between disaster displacement, its drivers and risk reduction seems rather underrepresented in existing research. The purpose of this research is to investigate if cross-border displacement is adequately addressed in institutional and operational frameworks, and how transboundary and regional cooperation plays a role in mitigating displacement risk in the country of origin or within regions. This was approached by interviewing fourteen relevant actors, conducting a questionnaire and assessing literature through a triangulation of data sources. By following the structure of four research objectives, the policy approach and the risk reduction approach were investigated. The study concludes that several factors can be inhibiting for successfully mitigating displacement risk. It is recommended that the objectives of the policy approach and the risk reduction approach are assembled in a coextending manner and that there is a need for leadership and stakeholder mapping. In order to guide forced migration, developing global outlines and then tailor those to national and sub-national binding points are recommended. Furthermore, data collection that identifies and categorises drivers for displacement is recommended in order to reduce risks. (Less)
Popular Abstract
Over the past 30 years, incidents of storms, hurricanes and floods have increased threefold and in 2015 more than 19 million people were displaced due to disasters. A common assumption falsely believe that displacement is rather short-term and temporary, but newer trends indicate the opposite.
Whereas involuntary movement of people has previously been linked to one or two main drivers, today the factors, known as push-factors for population movement, are no longer straightforward but rather complex and interlaced and people tend to stay in displacement for much longer. In fact, future numbers suggest that by 2050 more than 250 million people could be displaced by disasters. The development of appropriate policies can battle situations... (More)
Over the past 30 years, incidents of storms, hurricanes and floods have increased threefold and in 2015 more than 19 million people were displaced due to disasters. A common assumption falsely believe that displacement is rather short-term and temporary, but newer trends indicate the opposite.
Whereas involuntary movement of people has previously been linked to one or two main drivers, today the factors, known as push-factors for population movement, are no longer straightforward but rather complex and interlaced and people tend to stay in displacement for much longer. In fact, future numbers suggest that by 2050 more than 250 million people could be displaced by disasters. The development of appropriate policies can battle situations where displacement is inevitable and where a growing number of people are seeking protection. But on the other end, root causes and risk drivers needs to be addressed, managed or reduced to avoid further displacement and trapped populations.

With a number of larger meetings and development of international key documents, you can easily say that 2016 was a year where population movement was on everyone’s radar. This not only shows that there is a willingness to discuss migration and refugee governance systems but the increase in attention also illustrates a sense of urgency. However, while the status of refugees is treated according to legally binding agreements, the status of people becoming displaced across borders due to disasters, suffers from a normative gap. Those individuals often land in a “legal limbo”, where they are not categorized or quantified in any specific way and they do not belong under any particular frameworks or protocols.

To better understand the challenges associated with addressing disaster displacement, 14 interviews and an online survey were conducted with inter-governmental agencies, non-governmental organisations, humanitarian practitioners and researchers.

The results show that the topic of disaster displacement is subject to a significant conceptual ambiguity which is mainly rooted in the vague differentiation between forced versus voluntary movement. Secondly, the multi-causal nature of population movement challenges both the collaboration and the building of a shared understanding between different disciplines. Current frameworks and agreements are limited by the fact that they are imposing a universality, and rarely reflect regional or national realities. This also puts a big pressure on States and governments, that do not want, or are not able to take on more responsibilities. Besides, a tendency to work in isolation from one another, makes collaboration difficult, and situational differences or asymmetry between countries can be damaging when building a good foundation for successful collaboration. Overall, the case of disaster displacement is treated ad-hoc and improvised, and is highly reactive rather than proactive.

The research recommended that there is a need to synergise stakeholders and partners, by mapping out common resources, capacities and to clarify roles and responsibilities. Secondly, initiatives need to reflect the regional realities by developing soft global outlines but keeping the legal binding points on a national or sub-national level. Data collection that identifies and categorises drivers for displacement is recommended in order to reduce risks, and should be streamlined and complement each other rather than run in isolation. They should also put emphasis on regional and national realities in order to successfully address areas where risk factors are significant and could thus be reduced. Finally, the research recommended the need for future research that identifies risk drivers for displacement, developing profiling tools to measure and calculate people displaced and what their reasons are. By ensuring continuous development and reduction of risk, people could become more self-reliant, resilient and avoid being forced to move from their homes. (Less)
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author
Sepka, Monica LU
supervisor
organization
alternative title
The trans-boundary cooperation and integration of ‘displacement risk reduction’ for disasters
course
VBRM15 20171
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Disaster Risk Management, Environment, Migration, Displacement, Drivers
language
English
id
8928021
date added to LUP
2017-12-07 13:21:50
date last changed
2017-12-07 13:21:50
@misc{8928021,
  abstract     = {Despite the fact that some forecasts suggest that a large number of individuals could become displaced by 2050, the institutional and operational linkages between climate and cross-border displacement continues to be complex. While refugees and IDPs are treated according to specific treaties, the status of cross-border displacement as a result of disasters suffers from a normative gap and the linkages between disaster displacement, its drivers and risk reduction seems rather underrepresented in existing research. The purpose of this research is to investigate if cross-border displacement is adequately addressed in institutional and operational frameworks, and how transboundary and regional cooperation plays a role in mitigating displacement risk in the country of origin or within regions. This was approached by interviewing fourteen relevant actors, conducting a questionnaire and assessing literature through a triangulation of data sources. By following the structure of four research objectives, the policy approach and the risk reduction approach were investigated. The study concludes that several factors can be inhibiting for successfully mitigating displacement risk. It is recommended that the objectives of the policy approach and the risk reduction approach are assembled in a coextending manner and that there is a need for leadership and stakeholder mapping. In order to guide forced migration, developing global outlines and then tailor those to national and sub-national binding points are recommended. Furthermore, data collection that identifies and categorises drivers for displacement is recommended in order to reduce risks.},
  author       = {Sepka, Monica},
  keyword      = {Disaster Risk Management,Environment,Migration,Displacement,Drivers},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Cross-border Displacement: Prevent, Prepare or Adapt to?},
  year         = {2017},
}