Shakeel Kazmi


S.J.D. dissertation, written under the supervision of Professor Nicholas A. Robinson.

Document Type



The increasing numbers of climate migrants caution that the dilemma of climate refugees is a well-substantiated concern of today not tomorrow. In 2011 large-scale flooding and landslides affected more than one million people in the Philippines. More than twenty million people were displaced after massive floods in Pakistan in 2010. A significant number of future projections show that climate change will lead tens, and perhaps hundreds, of millions of people to leave their homes and in some cases their countries. The crisis of human displacement, which entails immediate actions, raised the questions of legal and moral obligations to protect the displaced. Persons suffering climate displacement face a loss of their rights and states must take actions to ensure that they do not violate human rights. Recently, states are more inclined towards sealing their borders to stop the migration influx. Walls are being built and shorelines are heavily guarded to ensure that no one can migrate. The magnitude of the coming crises of Climatees (climate change refugees and displacees) is huge. It eventually will call into question meaning of “Universal Declaration of Human Rights.” Climate change impacts pose a significant threat to many of broadly recognized rights contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international instruments. This thesis concludes that current national and international laws are inadequate to cope with the dilemma of climatic displacement. Nations must work together to fill in all gaps in the international legal and policy frameworks to cope with the emerging dilemma of Climatees. “Sit and wait” approaches can be very costly in terms of human life and financial cost.