Guest essay by Eric Worrall
This judgement has implications for US border control, as unskilled illegal immigrants who attempt to enter the USA are starting to claim they are really climate refugees.
Climate refugees can’t be returned home, says landmark UN human rights ruling
Experts say judgment is ‘tipping point’ that opens the door to climate crisis claims for protection
It is unlawful for governments to return people to countries where their lives might be threatened by the climate crisis, a landmark ruling by the United Nations human rights committee has found.
The judgment – which is the first of its kind – represents a legal “tipping point” and a moment that “opens the doorway” to future protection claims for people whose lives and wellbeing have been threatened due to global heating, experts say.
Tens of millions of people are expected to be displaced by global heating in the next decade.
The judgment relates to the case of Ioane Teitiota, a man from the Pacific nation of Kiribati, which is considered one of the countries most threatened by rising sea levels. He applied for protection in New Zealand in 2013, claiming his and his family’s lives were at risk.
The committee heard evidence of overcrowding on the island of South Tarawa, where Teitiota lived, saying that the population there had increased from 1,641 in 1947 to 50,000 in 2010 due to sea level rising leading to other islands becoming uninhabitable, which had led to violence and social tensions.
While the judgment is not formally binding on countries, it points to legal obligations that countries have under international law.
“What’s really important here, and why it’s quite a landmark case, is that the committee recognised that without robust action on climate at some point in the future it could well be that governments will, under international human rights law, be prohibited from sending people to places where their life is at risk or where they would face inhuman or degrading treatment,” said Prof Jane McAdam, director of the Kaldor centre for international refugee law at the University of New South Wales.
“Even though in this particular case there was no violation found, it effectively put governments on notice.
…Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/jan/20/climate-refugees-cant-be-returned-home-says-landmark-un-human-rights-ruling
I’m a bit puzzled why New Zealand climate zealots have fixated so hard on Ioane Teitiota. He was fired from a job in New Zealand after allegedly sexually assaulting a co-worker and attacking others. If the allegations are true, not someone you would want as a next door neighbour. Even New Zealand threw him out, and they normally accept pretty much anyone.
Immigrants who want special treatment should show a little respect for the culture and laws of their hosts.