No Borders, Only One Human Race
World Refugee Day calls on us to raise awareness about one of the most challenging and unjust issues of our time. The legal definition for refugees under the UN Convention defines, a “refugee” is anyone who:
“(o)wing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of (their) nationality and is unable, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail (themselves) of the protection of that country."
This definition dates back to 1951 and while we are witnessing major flows of refugees fleeing their home countries for reasons of persecution on the grounds of race, religion, political opinion because of war in places like Syria and numerous conflicts in Sub-Saharan Africa, this definition does not reflect the complex reality of today. One of the groups not represented in this definition are refugees due to climate change. Pope Francis in Laudato Si’ states, that the Rise in the number of migrants seeking to flee from the growing poverty caused by environmental degradation. Stating that they are not recognized by international conventions as refugees; yet they bear the loss of the lives they have left behind, without enjoying any legal protection whatsoever (LS 207).
Climate change is fast becoming one of the main reasons for migration and unfortunately, will be increasingly so...