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The preparedness of small island states for refugee with particular focus on Fiji

Bilimoria, Nilesh (2011) The preparedness of small island states for refugee with particular focus on Fiji. UNSPECIFIED. (Unpublished)

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The vulnerability of Small Island States to climate change and environmental degradation such as “depletion of fresh water supplies, flooding, disease and loss of traditional food sources, livelihood and housing” has drawn not only international attention but also forced migration or illegal/irregular migration, displacement and settlement (relocation). The probing question for the Pacific Region then is, can such circumstances and dilemmas neatly fit with the internationally agreed definition of a ‘refugee’ under international refugee instruments? An immediate response on humanitarian grounds would probably reveal ‘yes' and thus introduce category's as 'climate refugees’ or 'economic refugees’ but in-depth content/text analysis has rejected this As a mandatory requirement, the constituent elements : • outside the country of nationality or habitual residence; • well founded fear; • persecution; • Convention grounds (race, religion, nationality...); and • availability of State protection; as stipulated in Article 1A(2) of the 1951 Refugee Convention need to be satisfied. All signatory States “have an international obligation not to force refugees to return or not to 'refoule' to their home countries where they would face persecution on one of the five Convention grounds (the non-refoulement principle)” For small island states in particular, climate change and environmental degradation triggers forced migration. The primary question is whether forced migration sits comfortably with seeking refugee status? Do state's immigration control, foreign policy and decision making process by immigration officials ‘realize’ the non-refoulement principle? What issues, challenges and complications will small island state’s face when “attempting to comply with their international obligations (refugee and human rights) and balancing their own national interests in allowing entry to their territory”. These are some questions guiding my working paper in the preparedness of small island states for refugees.

Item Type: Other
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
K Law > KZ Law of Nations
Divisions: Faculty of Arts, Law and Education (FALE) > School of Law
Depositing User: Generic Account
Date Deposited: 23 Feb 2015 00:05
Last Modified: 23 Feb 2015 00:05

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