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A Right to Enjoy Culture in Face of Climate Change: Implications for Climate Migrants

26th November 2012

CGHR Research Group

A right to enjoy culture in face of climate change: Implications for climate migrants

Margaretha Wewerinke (Visiting Scholar, Lauterpracht Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge)

Much literature on climate-induced migration has focused on the legal status of climate migrants. In this paper, I will focus on one specific area of international law that is relevant to climate-induced migration, namely the right of persons belonging to minorities to enjoy their cultures. It explores how international law may provide protection of indigenous peoples’ enjoyment of their cultures, as guaranteed by Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, in scenarios of climate-induced migration. I will peruse the Human Rights Committee’s interpretation of Article 27, with particular attention to its link with the rights of peoples to self-determination and to freely dispose of their natural wealth and resources as protected under Article 1 of the Covenant. This paper is part of the CGHR Research Group, a forum for graduate students and early-career researchers from any department and disciplinary background researching issues of governance and human rights in the global, regional, and national contexts.