Changes to what constitutes a ‘character concern’ - and the consequences for people who have had their visas cancelled under character grounds – quietly passed in February when the Australian parliament resumed for two weeks with attention focussed on energy policy and party vote-preference deals in the Western Australia.
As part of the Kaldor Centre’s series of Legislative Briefs, Khanh Hoang explains The Migration Amendment (Character Cancellation Consequential Provisions) Act 2017 (Cth). He outlines key issues including: procedural fairness concerns; the potential for double punishment; lack of disclosure of information to the visa holder; and ability to seek judicial review.
Climate change, disasters and displacement
Each year, millions of people are displaced as a result of disasters. Climate change is anticipated to increase the frequency and severity of disasters and extreme weather events, which means there is likely to be even more disaster-related displacement in the future. Climate change will also contribute to slower-onset impacts, such as desertification, drought and increased temperatures. Most disaster-related movement will occur within countries, rather than across international borders. However, there is likely to be some cross-border movement, for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, a State will not be able to deal with the scale of the disasters it faces, and people may seek assistance elsewhere. In other cases, areas may no longer be habitable, and internal migration may not be a viable option.
While moving away from harm is a normal human adaptation strategy, the difficulty today is that people cannot simply migrate as and when they choose. National immigration laws restrict the entry of non-citizens into other countries. International law only recognizes a very small class of forced migrants as people whom other countries have an obligation to protect: ‘refugees’, ‘stateless persons’, and those eligible for complementary protection. This means that unless people fall within one of those groups, or can lawfully migrate for reasons such as employment, family and education, they run the risk of interdiction, detention and expulsion if they attempt to cross an international border and have no legal entitlement to stay in that other country.
This project examines how international law should approach displacement, migration and planned relocation in the context of natural disasters and the impacts of climate change.
Project director: Professor Jane McAdam
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