University of New South Wales Faculty of Law Research Series
Last Updated: 7 December 2010
Displacement with Dignity: International Law and Policy Responses to Climate Change Migration and Security in Bangladesh
Jane McAdam, University of New South Wales
Ben Saul, University of Sydney
This paper is available for download at http://law.bepress.com/unswwps/flrps10/art63/
This article is forthcoming in the German Yearbook of International Law.
Bangladesh is one of the countries most vulnerable to climate change. One important human dimension of that vulnerability is the potential for large-scale human displacement as a result of climate change impacts. This article examines the extent to which climate change is likely to impact displacement and migration in and from Bangladesh, and the legal and policy frameworks which might respond to this. It challenges assumptions that there will be mass cross-border displacement from Bangladesh by 2050 requiring regulation through a new international treaty, and that such movement will threaten international security. This article first describes the impacts of climate change on displacement and migration in Bangladesh. Secondly, it examines the nature of such movement, which is likely to be predominately internal rather than cross-border. Thirdly, it considers the security risks of climate change displacement in and from Bangladesh, focusing on resource scarcity, the risk of radicalization and terrorism within Bangladesh, and the transnational security risks of migration. Finally, it sets out options for law and policy reform with respect to climate change-related movement. It considers the need for adaptation – including through migration – as well as ways in which domestic, regional and international legal frameworks could be strengthened and progressively developed.