Give 'climate refugees' the recognition that they urgently require

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With ongoing conflicts occurring across the world, it comes as no surprise that the current refugee situation is key issue. However, whilst most people would associate refugees as being from a country torn apart by politics, there has been a clear rise in the number of ‘climate refugees’.

According to the National Geographic, climate refugees ‘are people who must leave their homes and communities because of the effects of climate change and global warming’, as the effects of climate change compromise their livelihoods. In countries such as Chad, drought and water shortages have resulted in famines. On the other hand, rising sea levels and subsequent flooding have become a serious threat to the Maldives.

On average, 27 million people are displaced by climate and weather-related disasters each year – that’s more than the whole of Australia’s population. Stated by the Environmental Justice Foundation, one person was displaced by climate-related disasters every second in 2012 alone. The significance is that this figure was roughly three times the number of refugees fleeing war or persecution.

However, even with these staggering figures, climate refugees are not officially recognised. Unlike the ‘traditional’ concept of refugees fleeing from persecution and conflict, those fleeing from climate-related disasters are not protected under international law and therefore lack rights and vital assistance.

We are petitioning for the United Nations to officially recognise climate refugees, so that they can be protected. By signing this petition, you are helping us get one step closer to giving climate refugees the support they urgently need!


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