Chaos for Haiti Refugees as Tropical Storm Looms
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#1 Nov 4, 2010
Since: Feb 09
#2 Nov 9, 2010
who really cares?
#3 Aug 6, 2012
Very interesting article.
So if an island nation is submerged beneath the ocean, does it maintain its membership in the United Nations? Who is responsible for the citizens? Do they travel on its passport? Who claims and enforces offshore mineral and fishing rights in waters around a submerged nation? International law currently has no answers to such questions.
United Nations Ambassador Phillip Muller of the Marshall Islands said there is no sense of urgency to find not only those answers, but also to address the causes of climate change, which many believe to be responsible for rising ocean levels.
Even if we reach a legal agreement sometime soon, which I dont think we will, the major players are not in the process, Muller said.
Those players, the participants said, include industrial nations such as the United States and China that emit the most carbon dioxide and other so-called greenhouse gases. Many climate scientists say those gases are responsible for global warming. Mary-Elena Carr of Columbia Universitys Earth Institute said what is now an annual sea level rise of a few millimeters will increase dramatically by the year 2100.The biggest challenge is to preserve their nationality without a territory, said Bogumil Terminski from the University of Geneva. International legal experts are discovering climate change law, and the Pacific island nation of Tuvalu is a case in point: The Polynesian archipelago is doomed to disappear beneath the ocean. Now lawyers are asking what sort of rights citizens have when their homeland no longer exists.
t present, however, there appear to be at least three possibilities that could advance the international debate about climate refugee protections and fill existing gaps in international law.
The first option is to revise the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees to include climate (or environmental) refugees and to offer legal protections similar to those for refugees fleeing political persecution. A second, more ambitious option is to negotiate a completely new convention, one that would try to guarantee specific rights and protections to climate or environmental refugees`.
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