The protection of environmentally-displaced persons in international law


Journal Article


Lopez, A.


The protection of environmentally-displaced persons in international law




Environmental Law

Vol (No), pp

37, 365-409


The issue of environmental degradation is broad and complex. This Article endeavors to better understand one particular aspect, namely the phenomenon of environmentally-induced migration.

Cet article discute des instruments légaux de droit international susceptibles de protéger les déplacés environnementaux. Cet article revient notamment sur la notion controversée de « réfugiés environnementaux.

Extrait du document : p 386 : « The 1951 Refugee Convention requires that a refugee be outside his country of origin, and accordingly does not encompass situations of internal displacement.133 In international law, there is a dichotomy between the protection afforded to “environmental refugees” and persons internally-displaced for environmental reasons. Yet reference to the term “persons internally-displaced for environmental reasons” is in itself problematic. Indeed, there is no authoritative definition of “internally- displaced persons” in international law. Since 1975, however, displaced persons have been included in the mandate of UNHCR, which considers “internally-displaced persons” as any person or group of persons who, if they had breached an international border, would be refugees.134 The definition appears to exclude most of the persons internally-displaced for environmental reasons since environmentally-displaced persons are often escaping environmental pressures rather than the enumerated persécutions »


Lopez, A. (2007). The protection of environmentally-displaced persons in international law. Environmental Law, 37, 365-409. URL :