Recognizing climate refugees
With the intensification of global climate change, a more specific subcategory of refugees have been discovered; the climate change refugees. A climate refugee is a person who is forced to leave his home or country due to the effects of harsh climate events. Being forced to start new lives in other places despite the conditions to which they are subjected.
Despite the lack of concrete evidence, media reports increasingly continue to link climate change to the ongoing violent conflicts in different parts of the world as well as the migration crisis in Europe. However, some findings suggests the effects of climate on conflicts and asylum is limited to specific period and contexts. For example, the effects of climate on conflicts is particularly relevant for countries in Western Asia during the period 2010-2012 during which most countries were undergoing political transformation.
The conflicts in Syria which began in March 2011 has raised eyebrows on the scientific research community and the media to the question of how climatic conditions can lead to conflicts and political instability.
Recent research into the Syrian uprising has shown that increasing water shortages and general droughts, coupled with poor water management, have led to crop failures for many years, economic stagnation and as a result of mass migration of rural families to urban areas.
Forced migration prevents development in at least four ways; with increasing pressure in cities infrastructure and services, undermining economic growth, and increasing the risk of conflict again by leading to the worst health, educational and social indicators among the migrants themselves.
There has been a concerted, and successful, effort to ignore the magnitude of the problem. Forced climate migrants fall through the cracks of international refugee and immigrant policy — and it exists great resistance to the idea of expanding the definition of political refugees to be included climate of ‘refugees’. At present, mass migration is not considered a national revolution strategies and often seen migration as ‘failure to adapt’. So far there is no ‘home’ of forced climate migrants in the global community, both literally and figuratively.