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A plan for helping victims of disasters driven by climate change

PACE’s Migration Committee has set out a plan for better protecting the victims of natural disasters caused by climate change – including laws to protect people forced to move internally “for environmental reasons”.

Approving a report on “a legal status for ‘climate refugees’” by Marie-Christine Verdier-Jouclas (France, ALDE), the committee said the reception of natural disaster victims in the territory of Council of Europe member States “should be foreseen in domestic law”, including by the grant of temporary residence status.

European governments should do more to protect victims of natural or man-made disasters and prepare for the worst by encouraging local communities to become more resilient, improving their capacity to deal with natural disasters, and integrating “disaster risk reduction” into their development policies.

The report should be debated by the plenary Assembly during its Autumn session.