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News

Local laws needed for refugees of climate change within Pacific

March 26, 2019 12:38 pm
Minister responsible for Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum being interviewed by FBC journalist [Source: Fijian Government]

Millions of people in the Pacific are affected by climate change and most have to migrate to other countries for survival purposes.

However, there’s no proper legal framework for them when finding refuge in other places in the region.

This was highlighted by Minister responsible for Climate Change Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum who says there is an urgent need to start developing proper rules and processes to deal with the situation.

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“The current framework regarding refugees does not really take into account or nor have we had these phenomena of people becoming refugees directly as a result of climate change. Now whether the countries which may play host to the refugees do their local laws actually adhere or can they cater to people who come as climate change refugees.”

Sayed-Khaiyum says questions regarding citizenship are raised for those who no longer own home or territorial right of countries have, therefore, answers need to start being developed.

The Minister adds while Fiji and some other Pacific Island countries are more so dealing with those internally displaced, issues of this magnitude cannot be ignored.

To walk the talk, a project aimed at addressing these issues was launched in Suva today.

The joint project by six United Nations partners is known as Enhancing the Protection and Empowerment of Migrants and Communities Affected by Climate Change and Disasters in the Pacific Region project.

The Project is aimed for Fiji, Vanuatu, Tuvalu, Kiribati, and Republic of the Marshall Islands and will run from this year to 2021.

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