Migration and Human Rights in the Wake of Climate Change
United Nations University Germany
Many of the provisions of the Pacific customary law are maintained orally and, without written forms, are left open to interpretation by different local actors. “Some Pacific Islands do have their legal norms spoken (customary law) and writing it down could go against their culture. For people outside the Pacific, in particular lawyers, this could sound strange, but for them it is a traditional way of understanding and applying law, which we need to respect.” This is one reason why the bottom-up approach is recommended over imposing policies at the institutional level, and Dr. Corendea will apply this method for obtaining transparent and rights-based results when researching the Pacific law. To start addressing human mobility from the legal perspective, he will be conducting field research in Fiji and Vanuatu. Different methodology tools, such as interviews, focus groups and questionnaires will allow him to elicit recommendations from within the society. His results could establish the Pacific people’s need for their interpretation of the law around migration and reveal ways to integrate it into regional or national policies.
“In order to make these solutions and approaches sustainable, they must be supported by a legal framework,” Dr. Corendea explains. “This is 2016 and the law is a living organism that needs its progressive interpretation, so that it can grow with the people’s needs and adapt to today’s mobility patterns.” His legal approach is human-centered, placing individuals and their basic rights at the center of climate change response. “The ultimate goal is to create regional migration policies, with respect to the Pacific’s human rights and where migration is a positive process.” Dr. Corendea believes that law in general, has the power to address diverse risks of climate change and the recent Paris Agreement is a good start in this regard.
Scientific title: Hybrid Legal Approaches in Climate Change Scenarios
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