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The Migration Crisis

Vocabulary List: Migration

Climate refugees : Who are they ?

JOURNALIST DAVID FOSTER: Hello from me, David Foster. Take three regions of the world in particular; Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, South East Asia. The world bank has predicted 140 million people in those areas could be forced from their homes by climate change in the next 30 years. Climate related displacement could be one of the greatest challenges created by our warming planet. For the latest in our series “2020 Vision” we’re asking if we are prepared for a world of climate refugees? FEMALE JOURNALIST: The concept of climate refugees is still new, but as global warming impacts us all, the role it will play in future human migration is often underestimated.

Last year, climate related factors resulted in the displacement of around 16.1 million people. Climate change disproportionately impacts developing countries and more specifically fragile states. It’s estimated that by 2050 between 150 to 200 million people are at risk of being forced to leave their homes as a result of desertification, rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. International law governs only political refugees, those who are fleeing persecution, and does not extend to climate refugees. We’re living through a time when states are increasing border security and are worried about threats to their national security. But with increasing numbers of people forced to flee because of climate change, how will these climate refugees be protected and will governments be able to cope?


1.What problem is underestimated ? The climate refugee problem/climate related displacement.

2 How many people will be displaced ? By when ?140 million people in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia will be displaced by 2050. 150-200 million people in total around the world will be displaced by 2050.

3 What are the main causes ? Who will be most affected ?The main causes are desertification, rising sea levels and extreme weather conditions. The world’s poorest people will be most affected; developing countries and fragile states will be hit hardest.

4 Are climate refugees protected under national law ? Why or why not ?Climate refugees are not protected under international law because they are not political refugees fleeing persecution.
5 What are national government concerned about ? What are they doing ? How will this affect climate refugees ?National governments are concerned about national security and border security/protecting their borders. Therefore, they are increasing border security/tightening borders. This will have a negative effect on climate refugees who will have nowhere to go.

Trying to understand the differences between migrants

Browse the following internet article and answer the questions.

1) The UNHCR is the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. It was created by the UN after WWII in order to account for and help displaced people.
2 A slow onset factor is climate-induced change that gradually affects an area over a long period of time. Examples include sea level rise and desertification after prolonged droughts. A fast onset factor is most likely to be a natural disaster such as hurricanes or typhoons. (make a link with Australian bush fires)

3 The climate migration nexus refers to the link between climate change and migration. Most notably, identifying when and to what extent climate change provokes migration or is linked to other migration factors.
4 The language used is both too exact and too vague. One must differentiate between migration and displacement and between internal and external movement. Furthermore, climate refugee is not a recognised legal term and therefore people fleeing climate change are not protected under international refugee law.

Internal migration involves movement within a single country whereas cross-border migration involves changing countries (sometimes more than once).

Summary Q 5

Climate-induced migration will cause more and more displacement in the years to come. Indeed, a new report estimates that there will be between 150-200 million people displaced by climate-induced problems by 2050. The UNHCR is an international refugee agency created by the UN and they are being forced to deal with more and more climate-induced displacement. One problem is that “climate refugees” is not a legally valid term so it is difficult to protect people who fall into this category. Furthermore, it is difficult to make the term legally valid as it is difficult to categorise. One must differentiate between internal and cross-border movement, migration and displacement.

Europe and migration

Cartoon analysis

The scene takes place in the sea, off the coast of some part of Europe.

The migrants in the boat are in danger because the boat is sinking.
On the shore we can see a lifeguard, his job is to protect people from drowning but he isn’t doing his job. Instead, he is watching the boat sink and the people drown and shouting at them to return from where they came from (even though they can’t).

The man on the shore has an umbrella with the EU flag, so clearly he represents the European Union.

His job as a lifeguard is a metaphor. Europe represents the West, the home of democracy and human rights. The job of European governments is to protect people, just like lifeguards, but the cartoon suggests they’re not doing it. Instead, they are adopting a “fortress Europe ideology”, refusing to acknowledge the migrant problem at their gates and thus putting those migrants in danger.

The cartoonist is clearly very critical of this policy because his cartoon suggests that European governments are willingly letting people die instead of doing their duty and helping them. He suggests that European governments are denying people their basic human rights.

Write a press article about climate migration

– Look at the methodology sheet on the site : How to write a press article

– Follow the guide lines given in the methodology sheet to write a press release about Climate Migration.

Only use the elements you will have discovered in the documents you studied beforehand.