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Bangladeshi children sit on garbage piled up by the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh Bangladeshi children sit on garbage piled up by the Buriganga River in Dhaka, Bangladesh, June 4, 2018 (AP photo by A.M. Ahad).

How Should the World Respond to the Coming Wave of Climate Migrants?

Monday, March 16, 2020

By 2050, hundreds of millions of people in developing countries will have left their homes as a result of climate change—a mass displacement that will make already-precarious populations more vulnerable and impose heavy burdens on the communities that absorb them. Unfortunately, the world has barely begun to prepare for this impending crisis.

Those displaced by climate change are neither true refugees nor traditional migrants, and thus occupy an ambiguous position under international law. The world needs to agree on how to classify environmental migrants, as well as what their rights are. It also needs to strengthen its capacity to manage these mass migrations, without weakening existing international regimes for refugees and migrants. ...

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