This project will investigate the current and potential scope of international protection as well as other forms of protection (in particular humanitarian protection) for persons displaced in the context of climate change in the EU, in particular in Austria and Sweden.
Climate change is becoming an increasingly important factor in regard to migration and displacement. Although most persons affected by climate change-related mobility remain in their regions of origin, some of them (will) arrive in Europe, including Austria and Sweden. However, the legal status of persons arriving in Europe in this context is still inadequately addressed (normative protection gap).
Firstly, the status quo at the global level as well as regional European level (Geneva Refugee Convention, international human rights law) is analysed. In a second step, relevant EU law, in particular the EU Qualification Directive, is assessed.
In analysing the scope of international protection, social factors, such as inequality and discrimination, that are important dimensions concerning the impact of climate change in general and in the context of climate change-related displacement in particular, are taken into account. For the purpose of embedding the legal questions into a broader international policy framework, the latest international institutional and policy developments in the context of climate/environmental change-related mobility and their implications for Austria and Europe will be analysed.
Case studies of Austria and Sweden as two EU Member States are conducted to explore and analyse the situation at national level. National legal frameworks and jurisprudence will be assessed in the light of international law and EU legal standards.
Finally, the proposed project aims to draft recommendations on how to address normative gaps.
Matthew Scott is head of the People on the Move thematic area at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden. His area of expertise lies in legal and policy responses to internal and cross-border displacement in the context of disasters and climate change. In this space, he has published a monograph with Cambridge University Press entitled Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention, an edited volume with Routledge entitled Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach, along with a range of book chapters and academic articles on the subject. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, a member of the editorial board of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law, and a founding member of the Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility, and the Gothenburg, Lund, Uppsala Migration Law Network. He holds a PhD in Public International Law from Lund University, and a Masters degree in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.
At Lund University, he convenes the Masters-level course on human rights law, the environment and climate change, and lectures on international refugee law and international human rights law at the law faculty. He also contributes to the MSc in Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change Adaptation at the Department of Risk Management and Societal Safety.
Matthew is also actively engaged in international collaboration initiatives at the intersection of disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation and displacement. In this capacity he is currently contributing technical expertise on human rights-based approaches relating to land use planning and emergency preparedness for response.
Read more about Matthew’s work here.
A Human Rights-Based Approach to Internal Displacement in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (Refugee Survey Quarterly 2020)
Internal Displacement in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change in Asia Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach (Routledge 2020, in press) (with Albert Salamanca)
Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention (Cambridge University Press 2020)
Climate Refugees and the 1951 Convention (Elgar 2019)
Background Brief: Key International Standards and Guidelines Relating to Displacement in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (Raoul Wallenberg Institute 2019)
Finding Agency in Adversity: Applying the Refugee Convention in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change (Refugee Survey Quarterly 2016)
A Role for Strategic Litigation (Forced Migration Review 2015)
Natural Disasters, Climate Change and Non-Refoulement: What Scope for Resisting Expulsion under Articles 3 and 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights? (International Journal of Refugee Law 2014)
This project, supported by the Austrian Climate and Energy Fund, and in collaboration with the Ludwig Boltzmann Institute for Human Rights in Vienna, examines Swedish and Austrian judicial decisions in cases where disasters and other adverse impacts of climate change feature as part of the claim. The project sets out to improve understanding of judicial responses to claims for international protection in this context and to make recommendations that are relevant for domestic as well as wider European and international audiences, including policymakers.
Building Resilience to Disaster Risk (2018-2022)
This project, supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), is collaborative initiative between the Asia Disaster Preparedness Center, the Stockholm Environment Institute, the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency, and the Raoul Wallenberg Institute, that promotes and supports the identification and development of rights-based and gender equal approaches to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation across Asia and the Pacific.
The Future of Human Rights (2020-2021)
This project, supported by the Pufendorf Institute at Lund University, brings together academics from a range of disciplines including law, disaster risk management, philosophy, sociology, and human geography to explore the future of human rights by exchanging perspectives on the origins and purpose of the concept and sharing insights across intersecting themes including migration, authoritarianism, and economic globalisation. These themes are framed against a backdrop of global social and ecological processes under umbrella concepts of digitalization and the Anthropocene. The project is designed to generate ideas and identify interconnections through multi-disciplinary collaboration.
This project, supported by the Swedish Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), brought together researchers from ten countries across Asia and the Pacific to examine the relationship between international and national-level law and policy relating to displacement in the context of disasters and climate change, and the protection of people from and during displacement and the facilitation of durable solutions. Adopting a human rights-based approach, the research consolidated key international standards and guidelines relating to displacement in the context of disasters and climate change and developed a tool for systematically analysing national legal and policy frameworks. This desk research was complemented by field research that examined one particular instance of disaster displacement, identifying promising practices as well as challenges to the implementation of national and international standards. Key findings are contained in a series of national law and policy reports, submissions to international initiatives including the UN High Level Panel on Internal Displacement and the 2020 UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally-displaced persons consultation on displacement in the context slower onset adverse impacts of climate change, and academic publications including and edited volume and a contribution to the special edition on internal displacement published in the journal Refugee Survey Quarterly. More information about the project is available at https://rwi.lu.se/disaster-displacement
Anti-Discrimination, Diversity and Asylum