Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration and the Law
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Research Handbook on Climate Change, Migration and the Law

Edited by Benoît Mayer and François Crépeau

This comprehensive Research Handbook provides an overview of the debates on how the law does, and could, relate to migration exacerbated by climate change. It contains conceptual chapters on the relationship between climate change, migration and the law, as well as doctrinal and prospective discussions regarding legal developments in different domestic contexts and in international governance.
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Chapter 16: Ethical duties to climate migrants

Katrina M. Wyman


This chapter surveys the philosophically oriented literature analyzing the duties of states to climate migrants. More specifically, it discusses the responses that have been given to three questions: (1) What is the ethical basis on which countries are obligated to assist climate migrants from other states? (2) What is the scope of the rights that climate migrants enjoy to resettle elsewhere, in particular is the right an individual or a collective right to resettle? And (3) how should obligations to climate migrants be allocated among countries? The chapter concludes by emphasizing that the existing literature is focused on the obligations owed to, and the rights enjoyed by, migrants from the small island states that are existentially threatened by climate change. The focus of the literature should be broadened to consider the responsibilities that states owe to migrants in other situations.

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