Environmentally related international migration: Policy challenges

Victoria Mence and Alex Parrinder
Australian National University
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The purpose of this chapter is to provide background on the key issues relating to environmentally related migration, including the debate on connections between migration and environmental stress; the development of global, regional and national-level policy responses (including policy considerations relevant to Australia); and priorities for further research. The second section below summarises the literature on this topic. The third section briefly discusses some of the key challenges for policymakers. The fourth section summarises potential future policy responses, noting examples of relevant measures that have been implemented in Australia and internationally.
While highlighting the challenges for policymakers that arise from the contested body of empirical research on environmentally related migration, it is beyond the scope of this chapter to draw conclusions on the evidence on the migration impacts of environmental factors.


Chapter in Long Way to Go: Irregular Migration Patterns, Processes, Drivers and Decision-making, eds. Marie McAuliffe and Khalid Koser

A Long Way to Go: Irregular Migration Patterns, Processes, Drivers and Decision-making presents the findings of a unique migration research program harnessing work of some of the leading international and Australian migration researchers on the challenging and complex topic of irregular maritime migration. The book brings together selected findings of the research program, and in doing so it contributes to the ongoing academic and policy discourses by providing findings from rigorous quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research to support a better understanding of the dynamics of irregular migration and their potential policy implications.

Stemming from the 2012 Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers report, the Irregular Migration Research Program commissioned 26 international research projects involving 17 academic principal researchers, along with private sector specialist researchers, international organisations and policy think tanks. The centrepiece of the research program was a multi-year collaborative partnership between the Department of Immigration and Border Protection and The Australian National University’s Crawford School of Public Policy. Under this partnership, empirical research on international irregular migration was commissioned from migration researchers in Australia, Indonesia, Iran, the Netherlands, Sri Lanka and Switzerland.