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In Harm’s Way: International Protection in the Context of Nexus Dynamics Between Conflict or Violence and Disaster or Climate Change


Recent history bears witness to cross-border movements in the context of conflict and/or violence and disaster and/or the adverse effects of climate change (nexus dynamics). Countries and regions affected range from South Sudan to Syria, the Lake Chad basin and Horn of Africa, to Central America and Haiti. Despite this reality, the recognition that multiple factors underlie human movements and the enduring relevance of refugee law for providing international protection, research examining State practice on refugee law-based international protection in the specific context of nexus dynamics is limited. The present study begins to address our knowledge gap.

This report presents research, analysis and recommendations to strengthen implementation of refugee law-based international protection in situations where crossborder movement occurs in the context of conflict and/or violence and disaster and/or the adverse impacts of climate change (hereinafter, nexus dynamics). The study was commissioned by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), forms part of the work plan of the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD) and examines four case studies.9 The recommendations are framed to advance reflection and discussion around legal, policy and practical solutions for persons displaced across borders in the context of nexus dynamics.


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