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CGHR Working Paper #6

Wewerinke paper
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A Right to Enjoy Culture in Face of Climate Change: Implications for "Climate Migrants"
Margaretha Wewerinke (Visiting Scholar, Lauterpract Centre for International Law, University of Cambridge)

This paper considers the extent to which international human rights law offers protection to ‘climate migrants’ irrespective of whether these persons would qualify for refugee status. In contrast with most existing literature, it does not focus on States’ obligations arising from the right to life or the prohibition of inhumane treatment. Instead, the paper focuses on the right of persons belonging to minorities to enjoy their culture as protected under Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The paper peruses 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. Based on this analysis the paper challenges the presupposition that a normative gap exists, pointing instead at a need for further research into the interpretation of norms and obstacles to enforcement.