The flow of environmental migrants will reach 150 million by 2050, even 200 million, PACE Committee on Migrations warned today. But there is no agreement on the terminology used to describe, or on the definition of, victims of forced migration.
Adopting unanimously a report prepared by Philippe Bies (France, SOC), the Committee underlined the need to acknowledge the vulnerability of the groups concerned and to remedy any gaps in their protection status.
The Council of Europe member States should give greater priority to devising protection policies and norms for victims of natural, chemical or nuclear disasters acknowledge their vulnerability and “ensure that their fundamental rights are fully observed”.
The adopted text calls for reviewing the relevant international rules and expanding them to include a definition for these migrants, as well as revising the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, by means, for example, of an Additional Protocol.
Measures to prohibit any overexploitation of natural resources should be adopted, while pursuing solutions “aimed at meeting people’s fundamental needs”.