The Climate Refugee – A New Legal-Political Category

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Climate change has given rise to increasing phenomena involving the displacement of affected people or groups across different regions or countries around the world. Climate displacement accompanies global inequalities. However, the concept of climate refugees corresponds to a status of legal-political protection that has not been internationally recognized yet. Based on a systematic literature review comparing definitions of the category of “climate refugees” proposed by different authors, as well as based on online media data, I propose a broader and more humanistic definition for the concept of “climate refugees”. Desirably, contributing to the societal debate on the harmonized international legal framework required for the recognition of such legal protection status and juridical-political category. Thus, I open the way to a definition of “climate refugees” within the framework of integral human development and its correlative concept of integral ecology.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the XII Portuguese Congress of Sociology
Number of pages24
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2023

Publication series

NameProceedings of the XII Portuguese Congress of Sociology
PublisherAssociaçao Portuguesa de Sociologia (APS)


  • Climate refugees
  • Climate change
  • Integral ecology
  • International refugee law


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