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06 June 2016

Defining Climate Migrants – Beyond Semantics

Switzerland - Who are climate migrants? What is climate migration? No legal, universally accepted definition of climate migrants and climate migration exists.  This has created countless semantic battles and triggered discussions around the legal status of those fleeing the adverse effects of climate change - those who cannot be called climate refugees, as their status is not recognized under the existing 1951 Refugee Convention, write IOM Migration, Environment and Climate Change specialists Mariam Traore Chazalnoël and Dina Ionesco.

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Photo: video screengrab

'Wineh' - Years of Drought: An Environmental Migrant’s Story

Colombia – In the desert of Guajira,  the northernmost part of Colombia, problems linked to severe water scarcity have been growing for half a century, presenting the main trigger for migration in the region. More than 400 families living in this area suffer from drought, its consequences on the availability of natural resources and its impact on health. Forced to migrate to Venezuela to ensure their survival, Wayuu communities always return home due to their commitment to their ancestral heritage.

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L’art, entre terre et mer (Art, between land and sea) (French)

See here.

Migration in the News
  • RT’s “World’s Apart” program ran an in-depth interview with IOM Director General William Lacy Swing on the proliferation of international crises and resulting competition for a limited pool of international aid.

  • AFP, Wall Street Journal and Al Jazeera reported that Greek rescuers were searching for survivors Friday (3/6) after a migrant boat sank off Crete, leaving at least nine people dead and hundreds missing.

  • AP reported that according to the UN, migrant drownings have risen by a third this year in the Mediterranean.

  • RT reported comments by Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz that refugees trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe should be immediately sent back to their countries of origin or resettled on islands.

  • ABC reported that the last refugee left in Australia's AUD 55 million resettlement program in Cambodia will stop receiving assistance in “six or seven months.”

  • NDTV reported that the 2016 Rio Olympics will see the first-ever Olympic team comprised of refugees from Syria, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Trending on the Internet

  • The Independent UK reported that at least four children have drowned in the Euphrates river trying to escape the ISIS-held city of Fallujah, as the Iraqi army prepares an assault on the town.

  • Middle East Monitor reported that British Muslim artist Yusuf Islam, formerly known as Cat Stevens, has released a song on the Syrian refugee crisis. He will perform it at a charity concert for Syrian refugee children in London.


Media Contacts

For comment / interviews on today's news, please go to the contact(s) listed at the end of each press briefing note.
For other information please contact the IOM Media & Communications team here