Advertisement

The UNHCR and Environmentally Displaced Persons

  • Sinja Hantscher
Chapter
Part of the Contributions to Political Science book series (CPS)

Abstract

The UNHCR’s interest in questions concerning environmentally displaced persons (EDP) protection is controversial: The organization is responsible for over 20 million refugees and has already taken up the topic of IDPs. Additionally, the UNHCR’s mandate does not cover the protection of EDPs. Therefore, this analysis will tackle the question: Why, then, does the UNHCR approach the issue of EDPs the way that it does? In this chapter, the empirical puzzle of the UNHCR’s approach to EDPs will be considered. The analysis hereby builds upon the conceptual design developed in Chap.  4 and incorporates primary and secondary data on the UNHCR’s EDP approach, including the findings of the qualitative expert interviews. In order to uncover the underlying impetus of the UNHCR’s approach, the analysis is presented by means of a context-centered interpretation (the influence of the organizational environment, the influence of states, etc.) in chronological order.

References

  1. Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility (2014) Joint submission to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on National Adaptation Plans (NAPs): for consideration at SBI 40. Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility. https://unfccc.int/sites/default/files/149.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  2. Advisory Group on Climate Change and Human Mobility (2015) Human mobility in the context of climate change UNFCCC - Paris COP - 21: recommendations from the advisory group on climate change and human mobility. www.unhcr.org/protection/environment/565b21bd9/human-mobility-context-climate-change-unfccc-paris-cop-21-recommendations.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  3. Barnett MN, Finnemore M (1999) The politics, power and pathologies of international organizations. Int Organ 53:699–732CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Betts A (2009) Protection by persuasion: international cooperation in the refugee regime. Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NYGoogle Scholar
  5. Betts A (2010) The refugee regime complex. Refug Surv Q 29:12–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Betts A (2011) Introduction: global migration governance. In: Betts A (ed) Global migration governance. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 1–33CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Betts A, Loescher G, Milner J (eds) (2012) UNHCR: The politics and practice of refugee protection, 2nd edn. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  8. Calmy-Rey M (2012) Statement delivered at the UNHCR Ministerial Meeting of December 2011. In: Pledges 2011: Ministerial Intergovernmental Event on Refugees and Stateless Persons, Geneva, 7–8 Dec 2011Google Scholar
  9. Crisp (2001) Mind the gap! UNHCR, humanitarian assistance and the development process. Working paper No. 43, New issues in refugee research series. UNHCR Evaluation and Policy Analysis Unit, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/research/working/3b309dd07/mind-gap-unhcr-humanitarian-assistance-development-process-jeffcrisp.html. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  10. Crisp J (2008) Beyond the nexus: UNHCR’s evolving perspective on refugee protection and international migration. New Issues in Refugee ResearchGoogle Scholar
  11. Crisp J (2009) Refugees, persons of concern, and people on the move: the broadening boundaries of UNHCR. Refuge 26:73–76Google Scholar
  12. Deschamp B, Azorbo M, Lohse S (2010) Earth, wind and fire: a review of UNHCR’s role in recent natural disasters. UNHCR Policy Development and Evaluation Service, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  13. Dijkzeul D, Beigbeder Y (2003) Rethinking international organizations: pathologies and promise. Berghahn Books, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  14. Dingwerth K, Blauberger M, Schneider C (2011) Postnationale Demokratie: Eine Einführung am Beispiel von EU, WTO und UNO. Grundwissen Politik, vol 47. Springer VS, WiesbadenCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Dingwerth K, Lehmann I, Reichel E, Weise T, Witt A (2014) Many pipers, many tunes? Die Legitimationskommunikation internationaler Organisationen in komplexen Umwelten. In: da Conceição-Heldt E, Koch M, Liese A (eds) Internationale Organisationen: Autonomie, Politisierung, interorganisationale Beziehungen und Wandel. Nomos, Baden-Baden, pp 186–212Google Scholar
  16. Druke L (2013) Innovations in refugee protection: a compendium of UNHCR’s 60 years: including case studies on IT communities, Vietnamese boatpeople, Chilean exile and Namibian repatriation. Peter Lang Edition, Frankfurt am MainGoogle Scholar
  17. Economic and Social Council, United Nations (1958) Establishment of the executive committee of the programme of the UNHCR: ECOSOC resolutions, E/RES/672 (XXV). Economic and Social Council, United Nations, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  18. Economic and Social Council, United Nations (1998) Further promotion and encouragement of human rights and fundamental freedoms, including the question of the programme and methods of work of the commission: human rights, mass exoduses and displaced persons. Report of the representative of the Secretary-General, Mr. Francis M. Deng. Economic and Social Council, United Nations, New York. https://academic.oup.com/rsq/article/18/1/165/1574028. Accessed 13 June 2018
  19. Entwisle H (2013) The world turned upside down: a review of protection risks and UNHCR’s role in natural disasters. New issues in refugee research series. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Policy Development and Evaluation Service’s, Geneva. http://www.refworld.org/docid/5142d4652.html. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  20. Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme (1994) Internally displaced persons: No. 75 (XLV) – 1994, Executive Committee 45th session. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae68c434.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  21. Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme (2011) Standing committee 51st meeting: UNHCR’s role in support of an enhanced humanitarian response for the protection of persons affected by natural disasters. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/4df08ba39.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  22. Ferris E (2014) Planned relocations, disasters and climate change: consolidating good practices and preparing for the future. Background document, Sanremo Consultation, 12–14 March 2014. UNHCR, BROOKINGS and Georgetown University, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/53c4d6f99.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  23. Franck M (2014) Cross-dimensional impacts of natural and man-made disasters, population movements in the context of natural disasters. In: Second preparatory meeting of the 22nd OSCEGoogle Scholar
  24. Franck M (2015) When leaving your home is the last option for survival: climate change and human mobility, Presentation. COST Action 1101 Climate Change and Migration; Knowledge, law and policy, and theory, Durham, UKGoogle Scholar
  25. General Assembly (1993) A/RES/48/116: 85th plenary meeting. United Nations, New York. http://www.un.org/documents/ga/res/48/a48r116.htm. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  26. General Assembly (1994) A/49/12/Add.1: ExCom on IDPs, No. 75 (XLV), 45th session. United Nations, New York. http://www.unhcr.org/excom/exconc/3ae68c434/internally-displaced-persons.html. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  27. Glover T, Russell S (2001) Overseeing the refugee convention: coordination with UNHCR and states. ICVA working paper No. 7. International Council of Voluntary Agencies, Geneva. https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=294181. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  28. Guterres A (2007) Opening statement by Mr. António Guterres, UNHCR: Fifty-eighth Session of the Executive Committee of the High Commissioner’s Programme, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  29. Guterres A (2008) Millions uprooted: saving refugees and the displaced. Foreign Aff 87:90–99Google Scholar
  30. Guterres A (2011a) Nansen conference on climate change and displacement; Statement by António Guterres. UNHCR, OsloGoogle Scholar
  31. Guterres A (2011b) Maintenance of international peace and security: new challenges to international peace and conflict prevention, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  32. Guterres A (2012) Opening statement. In: Pledges 2011: Ministerial Intergovernmental Event on Refugees and Stateless Persons, Geneva, 7–8 Dec 2011Google Scholar
  33. Haas EB (1990) When knowledge is power: three models of change in international organizations. University of California Press, Cambridge, MAGoogle Scholar
  34. Hall N (2015) Money or mandate?: Why international organizations engage with the climate change regime. Glob Environ Politics 15:79–97CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Hüfner K (2015) Mehr Verantwortung übernehmen: Zum deutschen Finanz-Engagement in den Vereinten Nationen 1991–2013. Frank & Timme, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  36. Informal Group on Migration/Displacement of the IASC (2008) Climate change, migration and displacement: who will be affected? Working paper. Inter-Agency Standing Committee, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/protection/environment/4a1e4fb42/climate-changemigration-displacement-affected-working-paper-submitted.html. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  37. Inter-Agency Standing Committee (2011) IASC operational guidelines on the protection of persons in situations of natural disasters. The Brookings - Bern Project on Internal Displacement, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  38. Johnstone CL (2008a) Planning for the inevitable, the humanitarian consequences of climate change: remarks by Ambassador L. Craig Johnstone, UN Deputy High Commissioner for RefugeesGoogle Scholar
  39. Johnstone CL (2008b) The future is now. Forced Migr Rev 31:47Google Scholar
  40. Kälin W (2010) Conceptualizing climate-induced displacement. In: McAdam J (ed) Climate change and displacement. Hart, Oxford, pp 81–104Google Scholar
  41. Kälin W, Schrepfer N (2012) Protecting people crossing borders in the context of climate change: normative gaps and possible approaches. Legal and protection policy research series. UNHCR Division of International Protection, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/4f33f1729.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  42. Kimani MJ (1996) Bridging relief and development concepts in refugee and migration situations: household energy programmes. In: IOM (ed) Environmentally-induced population displacements and environmental impacts resulting from mass migrations: International symposium, Geneva, 21–24 Apr 1996, pp 115–120Google Scholar
  43. Loescher G, Milner J (2011) UNHCR and the global governance of refugees. In: Betts A (ed) Global migration governance. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 189–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. Loescher G, Betts A, Milner J (2012) The UNHCR: The politics and practice of refugee protection, 2nd edn. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  45. McAdam J (2011) Environmental migration. In: Betts A (ed) Global migration governance. Oxford University Press, New York, pp 153–188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. McAdam J (2017) From the Nansen initiative to the platform on disaster displacement: shaping international approaches to climate change, disasters and displacement. UNSW Law J 39:1518–1546Google Scholar
  47. McConnachie K (2014) Governing refugees: justice, order and legal pluralism. Routledge, New YorkCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. McGee J, Steffek J (2016) The Copenhagen turn in global climate governance and the contentious history of differentiation in international law. J Environ Law 28:37–63CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. McKittrick A (2008) UNHCR as an autonomous organisation: complex operations and the case of Kosovo. Working paper series No. 50. University of OxfordGoogle Scholar
  50. Mearns R, Norton A (eds) (2010) Social dimensions of climate change: equity and vulnerability in a warming world. The World Bank, Washington, DCGoogle Scholar
  51. Ministerial Communiqué (2011) Intergovernmental event at the ministerial level of member states of the United Nations on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the 1951 convention relating to the status of refugees and the 50th anniversary of the 1961 convention on the reduction of statelessness, 7–8 December 2011. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.refworld.org/docid/4ee99bf42.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  52. Nansen Conference (2011) Nansen conference on climate change and displacement in the 21st century. Oslo, 6–7 June 2011, Summary. Norwegian Refugee Council/Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre, Oslo. http://www.refworld.org/docid/521485ef4.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  53. Ogata S (1992) Statement by Mrs. Sadako Ogata at the UN conference on environment and development. Rio de Janeiro, 10 June 1992. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. www.unhcr.org/admin/hcspeeches/3ae68fcd4c/statement-mrs-sadako-ogata-united-nations-high-commissioner-refugees-united.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  54. Organisation of African Unity (1969) OAU convention governing the specific aspects of refugee problems in Africa. Organisation of African Unity. https://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6b36018.html. Accessed 2 July 2019
  55. Pease K-KS (2016) International organizations, 5th edn. Routledge, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  56. Riera J (2013a) Challenges relating to climate change induced displacement. In: International conference “Millions of people without protection: climate change induced displacement in developing countries”, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  57. Riera J (2013b) Seminar to address the adverse impacts of climate change on the full enjoyment of human rights: international cooperation and respect for human rights. International Cooperation and Respect for Human Rights, Palais de Nations, Salle XII, UNHCR headquarter GenevaGoogle Scholar
  58. Schorr M (2004) Der Wandel der humanitären Aktion internationaler Organisationen: Die institutionellen sowie materiell-rechtlichen Konsequenzen dargestellt am Beispiel des IKRK, UNHCR und UNHCHR. Verlag Dr. Kovac, HamburgGoogle Scholar
  59. The Nansen Initiative (2017) Towards a protection agenda for people displaced across borders in the context of disasters and the effects of climate change. The Nansen Initiative, Geneva. https://www.nanseninitiative.org/secretariat/. Accessed 13 June 2018
  60. Türk V (1999) The role of UNHCR in the development of international refugee law. In: Nicholson F, Twomey P (eds) Refugee rights and realities: evolving international concepts and regimes. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 153–175Google Scholar
  61. Türk V (2014) Discussion forum on climate change: remarks by Volker Türk, Director of International Protection, UNHCR Geneva, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  62. Türk V, Corliss S, Riera J, Lippmann B, Hansen E, Egziabher AG, Franck M, Dekrout A, Kuroiwa Y (2015) UNHCR, the environment and climate change. Updated version. UNHCR. http://www.unhcr.org/540854f49.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  63. UN General Assembly (2009a) Follow-up to the outcome of the Millennium Summit: 85th plenary meeting, 3 June 2009, A/63/PV.85. UN General Assembly, New York. http://www.securitycouncilreport.org/atf/cf/%7B65BFCF9B-6D27-4E9C-8CD3-CF6E4FF96FF9%7D/CC%20A%2063%20PV.85.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  64. UN General Assembly (2009b) Climate change and its possible security implications: Report of the Secretary-General, A/64/350. UN General Assembly, New York. http://www.unhcr.org/protection/environment/543e73f69/climate-change-its-possiblesecurity-implications-report-secretary-general.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  65. UN General Assembly (2009c) Resolution adopted by the General Assembly: climate change and its possible security implications. UN General Assembly, New York. https://www.un.org/en/ga/search/view_doc.asp?symbol=A/RES/63/281. Accessed 13 June 2018
  66. UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) (1993) Fact sheet No. 20: human rights and refugees. OHCHR, Geneva. https://www.refworld.org/docid/4794773f0.html. Accessed 2 July 2019
  67. UNFCCC (2011) Report of the conference of the parties on its sixteenth session, held in Cancun from 29 November to 10 December 2010. Decisions adopted by the Conference of the Parties. United Nations. https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2010/cop16/eng/07a01.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  68. UNHCR (1951) Convention and protocol relating to the status of refugees. UNHCR, Geneva. https://www.unhcr.org/protection/basic/3b66c2aa10/convention-protocol-relatin-status-refugees.html. Accessed 2 July 2019
  69. UNHCR (2002) A critical time for the environment. Refugees, pp 4–14Google Scholar
  70. UNHCR (2007) The protection of internally displaced persons and the role of the UNHCR. Informal consultative meeting. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/protection/idps/50f951df9/protection-internally-displaced-persons-role-unhcr-excom-informal-consultative.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  71. UNHCR (2008) Climate change, natural disasters and human displacement: a UNHCR perspective. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.refworld.org/docid/492bb6b92.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  72. UNHCR (2009) Internally displaced persons. In: UNHCR (ed) UNHCR Global Report 2008, pp 46–51Google Scholar
  73. UNHCR (2010) Working with internally displaced. In: UNHCR (ed) UNHCR Global Report 2009, Geneva, pp 47–49Google Scholar
  74. UNHCR (2011) Working with the internally displaced. In: UNHCR (ed) UNHCR Global Report 2010, Geneva, pp 48–53Google Scholar
  75. UNHCR (2012) Displacement, climate change, and natural disasters (Chap. 7). In: UNHCR (ed) The state of the world’s refugees 2012: in search of solidarity, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  76. UNHCR (2013) Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees. Part II, Strategic review pursuant to General Assembly resolution 58/153. United Nations, New York. http://www.unhcr.org/excom/unhcrannual/5244440f9/report-united-nations-high-commissioner-refugees-part-ii-strategic-review.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  77. UNHCR (2014) Planned relocation, disasters and climate change: consolidating good practices and preparing for the future. Expert consultations. Final Report, Sanremo, Italy. Georgetown University, Georgetown. http://www.unhcr.org/54082cc69.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  78. UNHCR (2015) Contributions to UNHCR for budget year 2015. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. https://www.unhcr.org/partners/donors/558a639f9/contributions-unhcr-budget-year-2015-31-december-2015.html. Accessed 2 July 2019
  79. UNHCR (2017) Governance and oversight. http://www.unhcr.org/governance.html. Accessed 13 Mar 2019
  80. UNHCR, IOM, Refugee Policy Group (1996) Environmentally-induced population displacements and environmental impacts resulting from mass migrations. International symposium, Geneva, 21–24 April 1996. International Organization of Migration, Geneva. http://publications.iom.int/system/files/pdf/environmentally_induced.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  81. UNHCR, IOM, NRC, UNU, Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons (2009a) Comments and proposed revisions to the negotiating text prepared by the Chair of the UNFCCC Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term cooperative action. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. https://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2009/smsn/igo/055.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  82. UNHCR, IOM, NRC (2009b) Climate change and statelessness: an overview. Submission to the 6th session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-Term Cooperative Action under the UNFCCC. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/protection/environment/4a1e50082/climate-change-statelessness-overview.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  83. UNHCR, NRC, Representative of the Secretary General on the Human Rights of Internally Displaced Persons, UNU (2009c) Forced displacement in the context of climate change: challenges for states under international law. United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/protection/environment/4a1e4d8c2/forced-displacement-context-climate-change-challenges-states-underinternational.html. Accessed 13 June 2018
  84. United Nations Security Council (2007) 5663rd meeting, Tuesday, 17 April 2007, New York, S/PV.5663. United Nations, New York. http://repository.un.org/handle/11176/9267. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  85. Ward P (2014) Refugee cities: reflections on the development and impact of UNHCR urban refugee policy in the Middle East. Refug Surv Q 33:77–93CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. Warner K (2011) Climate change induced displacement: adaptation policy in the context of the UNFCCC climate negotiations: Research Series. UNHCR Division of International Protection, Geneva. http://www.unhcr.org/4df9cc309.pdf. Accessed 13 June 2018
  87. Warner K, Kälin W, Martin S, Nassef Y, Lee S, Melde S, Chapuisat HE, Franck M, Afifi T (2014) Integrating human mobility issues within national adaptation plans. United Nations University - Nansen initiative joint policy brief No. 2. UN University, Bonn. https://environmentalmigration.iom.int/integrating-human-mobility-issues-within-national-adaptation-plans. Accessed 13 June 2018Google Scholar
  88. Working Group on International Refugee Policy (1999) International conference on the protection mandate of UNHCR – Final Report: Peace Palace, The Hague, The Netherlands, 18 September 1998. Int J Refugee Law 11:397–416CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sinja Hantscher
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of History and Social SciencesInstitute of Political Science, TU DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany

Personalised recommendations