Head of People on the Move Thematic Area
LinkedIn: Matthew Scott

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Matthew leads the People on the Move thematic area at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Academically, he focuses in particular on the integration of displacement into disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation law, policy and practice, and currently leads two projects in the Asia-Pacific region focusing on these issues. He also coordinates the Institute’s activities relating to refugees and other displaced persons across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and MENA regions, working across research, education, direct engagement and human rights forum modalities.

He defended his doctoral thesis in 2018, entitled Refugee Status Determination in the Context of ‘Natural’ Disasters and Climate Change: A Human Rights-Based Approach.

Matthew teaches Masters-level courses in international human rights law and international refugee law on the joint RWI/Lund University Masters programme in international human rights and humanitarian law, and convenes the core module on Protecting human rights, refugees and displaced persons in international law for the University of London, School of Advanced Study MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies.

He has 15 years of experience working in the field of international migration and forced displacement, including with UNHCR, the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship, and as a specialist immigration and asylum legal aid lawyer in London. His academic work has been published in the International Journal of Refugee Law, Refugee Survey Quarterly, Forced Migration Review and in specialist edited volumes.

Matthew sits on the advisory committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the editorial committee of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law. He is a doctoral affiliate of the Refugee Law Initiative, a member of the Lund/Uppsala Migration Research Network (LUMIN), an Examiner of the University of London and a Member of the Law Society of England and Wales.


  • Refugees, Migration, Climate Change, Disasters

Select Publications



  • ‘The role of international human rights law in addressing the gendered nature of disaster displacement in Southeast and South Asia’ in Catarina Kinnvall & Helle Rydström (eds) Climate Hazards, Disasters, and Gender Ramifications (Routledge 2019 expected)




Ongoing Projects

  • Matthew Scott is currently leading a ten-country research initiative studying legal and policy frameworks addressing disaster-related displacement in the Asia-Pacific region.