Climate Refugees: The Role of South Asian Judiciaries in Protecting the Climate Refugees
The people are forced to move, migrate or leave their homelands due to climate change in South Asia. Justice necessitates that climate refugees must be provided and extended the same protection as is provided to the political refugees who have an array of rights and protections under the international refugee law superintended by the UNHCR that was created following the World War II. However, the national governments in South Asia have failed to address the climate change-induced migration in the region. In this conspectus, the present chapter explores, examines and assesses the role of the regional judiciary in protecting the climate refugees in the absence of a ‘climate refugee-specific law’ in the SAARC jurisdictions. The role of the judiciary in environmental governance and sustainable development has been recognized as one of most important features of South Asian jurisprudence. Thus, the instant chapter evaluates the judicial reception and responses to the refugee law and international climate change law in South Asia while making a case for Intra-South Asian Judicial Interactions on ‘climate refugees’. The chapter explains how the judiciary has played a proactive role in identifying the international environmental law principles to environmental protections. It also tries to explore the evolution of climate change regional constitutionalism to provide the SAARC jurisdictions a compendium of law and policies where under people crossing international borders in the region due to environmental calamities recognized as refugees by concluding and adopting a regional mechanism to protect the climate refugees.