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Laws and Migration Policies Not Keeping Up With Climate Change

The World Humanitarian Summit, which concluded last month in Istanbul, aimed to reform the humanitarian system. But that system was created for a climate that no longer exists.

In 2015, disasters and climate change impacts led to the displacement of twice as many people as conflict and violence.

This is only going to increase. It needs more attention.

While estimates vary, climate change will cause or contribute to the displacement of millions of people. According to the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, 21.5 million people have already been displaced by weather-related hazards each year since 2008. That figure does not include those forced to flee because of gradual hazards such as sea level rise.

If countries are to be more resilient and able to contend with this expected large-scale increase in displacement then they need to act now.

The international laws and policies on human movement, in particular, need revisiting.

Erin Magee/DFAT

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