26 Sep 2013

Nansen Initiative can provide protection for climate change victims

7:02 pm on 26 September 2013

The Swiss Ambassador to New Zealand says the case of a Kiribati man unsuccessfully seeking refugee status because of environmental damage in his home country highlights what the Nansen Initiative is trying to achieve.

The Initiative is being promoted by Switzerland and Norway and aims to have countries provide legal cover for people forced to cross borders by a natural disaster.

New Zealand's Immigration Refugee Tribunal told the Kiribati man the Refugee Convention does not apply in his case.

The Swiss Ambassador, Marion Weichelt Krupski, says there will be more and more OF these cases and the Nansen Initiative can give them protection.

"And it is not necessarily about making laws. It is about talking about these cases. How can states react to such cases. What are best practices. This is why the Nansen Initiative was launched about a year ago."

The Swiss Ambassador in Wellington, Marion Weichelt Krupski