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Climate-related displacement, (internal) migration and humanitarian action: Perspectives and alternatives
Climate-related displacement is a growing process and concern worldwide (IDMC, 2021). According to the UNCHR, weather-related emergencies have impacted the lives of approximately 21.5 million people each year since 2010, who have been forced to move (United Nations, 2021). The root causes explaining people’s reasons to migrate, and the impacts of doing it, interact with multiple other social and economic factors (Warner, 2010), resulting in climate-related migrants being considered humanitarian subjects in need of assistance and protection (Eckersley, 2015: 481). However, climate-related migrants are neglected in international refugee and immigration policy (Docherty, 2009: 357), and the role and ways in which humanitarian aid actors address climate-related migration are still in discussion.
Security concerns regarding large-scale climate-related migration bring extra attention to the topic (Biermann, 2010: 60). On the other hand, ‘internal’ migrants in the context of climate change have received less attention and, therefore, there is also less knowledge on their humanitarian needs. Humanitarian assistance is also needed for those affected by climatic stress but lacking the ability to move despite their desire to do so (Black and Collyer, 2014).
The panel, thus, encourages researchers, practitioners, and local actors to share their experiences and empirical research related to humanitarian responses and approaches to climate-related displacement, including internal migration, and how humanitarian aid agenda interact with other agendas covering climate-related migration. The insights and lessons derived from the presentation will be followed by a discussion on the role and approaches of humanitarian actors and actions considering (a) the recent shift from ‘classical’ to ‘resilience’ humanitarianism and (b) other relevant paradigms like disaster risk reduction, the humanitarian-development nexus, and the localisation of humanitarian assistance.