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Seeking Legal Protection for Environmental Refugees

Mahir Al Banna1


The purpose of this article is to examine the legal vacuum regarding the status of environmental refugees which are deprived of legal existence and thus lack protection in international law. By describing the negative impact of climate change on this category of population, the article used the qualitative method to bring adequate responses to raised questions regarding the merit of the term “environmental refugee”, the potential challenges it evokes, and the proposed solutions to address them. This article concluded that environmental refugee status has no legal existence, hence, public international law must build truly protective legal instruments for by adopting appropriate relevant conventions. The overview
we have carried out showed that it will be more appropriate to use the term “environmentally displaced persons” instead of environmental refugee.

Keywords: Environmental refugees, displaced persons, legal protection,
international law, Geneva Convention