In Harm’s Way - International protection in the context of nexus dynamics between conflict or violence and disaster or climate change

Sanjula Weerasinghe, UNHCR
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Recent history bears witness to cross-border movements in the context of conflict and/or violence and disaster and/or the adverse effects of climate change (nexus dynamics). Countries and regions affected range from South Sudan to Syria, the Lake Chad basin and Horn of Africa, to Central America and Haiti. Despite this reality, the recognition that multiple factors underlie human movements and the enduring relevance of refugee law for providing international protection, research examining State practice on refugee law-based international protection in the specific context of nexus dynamics is limited. The present study begins to address our knowledge gap.

This overview sets out recommendations, based on the present study, to strengthen implementation of refugee law-based international protection when cross-border movements occur in the context of nexus dynamics. The recommendations are framed to advance reflection and discussion on legal, policy and practical solutions, against the backdrop of commitments in the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) Strategic Directions 2017–2021, the New York Declaration on Refugees and Migrants, and the Global Compact on Refugees, as well as priorities outlined in the Nansen Initiative Agenda for the Protection of Cross-Border Displaced Persons in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change.