Internal displacement, migration and planned relocation in the context of natural hazards

Internal displacement, migration and planned relocation in the context of natural hazards
13 January 2021, 1.30pm - 3.00pm

The International Refugee Law Seminar Series, sponsored by the Refugee Law Initiative at the School of Advanced Study, University of London, provides a public space for discussion, promotion and dissemination of research between academics, practitioners, students and others with an interest in the refugee and forced migration field.

11th RLI Annual Seminar Series 

Academic Year 2020-21 Webinars


How can law and policy engage with the impact of natural hazards on human mobility? 

Environmental processes shape human mobility, including processes of displacement, migration and planned relocation, within countries and even across borders. They can also entrench immobility for specific groups. Natural hazards that shape mobility in such contexts encompass the slow-onset impacts of climate change and environmental degradation, as well as sudden-onset disasters linked to storms, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and even biological hazards like the COVID-19 pandemic. 

This webinar series brings together diverse scholarly and practitioner perspectives on how law and policy can respond to this global challenge. Its six topical sessions will be broadcast live in an interactive format via Zoom technology to enhance participation from across the globe.

The series is convened by the Refugee Law Initiative (RLI) and its Internal Displacement Research Programme, in partnership with the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), a state-led initiative working to improve protection for people displaced in the context of disasters and climate change.

Internal displacement, migration and planned relocation in the context of natural hazards

Moderator: Greta Zeender, Secretariat, UN Secretary-General's High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement

How the issue of 'environmental' (im)mobility within countries is addressed in law, policy and strategies at international and national levels (including IDP law, disaster law, etc.)?

    • Elena Correa, Independent Consultant– national policy development on planned relocations in the Americas and the Caribbean  
    • Tasneem Siddiqui, Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit, University of Bangladesh national  strategy on the management of disaster- and climate-induced internal displacement in Bangladesh 
    • Matthew Scott, Raoul Wallenberg Institute – ten-country study on Asia-Pacific and implications for debate on internal displacement
    • Romola Adeola, University of Pretoria –  responding to development and disaster displacement in Africa

This seminar will be held via zoom - access link provided upon sign-up.

Speaker bios:

Greta Zeender is the Head of Research and Outcomes at the Secretariat of the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Internal Displacement. Prior to this, Greta was UN OCHA’s Adviser on Internal Displacement. Before that, she worked as Senior Analyst for the Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre of the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC), represented NRC as Vice-Chair of the Steering Committee of the Watchlist on Children and Armed Conflict, a network of international humanitarian and human rights NGOs advocating for ending violations against children in conflict areas. She also developed a protection programme in the Democratic Republic of Congo for NRC, conducted training seminars in conflict-affected countries, organised expert seminars and authored articles on the issue of internal displacement. She also lectured on IDP and refugee protection at NYU’s Global Affairs Program. Before joining NRC, she worked for the Swiss Development Agency in Switzerland, Romania and Russia. She holds a Masters Degree in Law and Diplomacy from the Fletcher School in Boston.

Elena Correa, a Colombian, is a psychologist and regional development planner with extensive experience in social impact assessment and resettlement of populations affected by development projects and natural disasters.  She is a former World Bank staffer, where she prepared, with the support of the GFDRR, a guide to resettle populations at risk of disaster. Currently, she works as an international consultant.

Dr Tasneem Siddiqui is a Professor of Political Science at the University of Dhaka and the founding Chair of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) the premier migration think tank of Bangladesh. Her works on climate change adaptation and migration, disaster induced migration, drivers and impact of internal and international male and female labour migration, migration governance, diaspora, remittances, safe and sustainable cities inclusive to migrants, have been published in the journals of Population and Environment, Development Policy Review, Urban Studies and in different volumes of Palgrave Macmillan, Edward Edgar, Routledge, Springer etc. She led the drafting of the National Strategy on the Management of Disaster and Climate Induced Internal Displacement in Bangladesh, the national Overseas Employment Policy, 2006 and was a committee member that prepared the first draft of the Overseas Employment and Migration Act of 2013. Her research and advocacy work on female labour migration has contributed to lifting of ban on international migration of low skilled women from Bangladesh in 2003. She is in the Global Editorial Board of Oxford Journal of Migration Studies. Since June, 2019 she has joined the state led international initiative, the Platform on Disaster Displacement (PDD), as a member of the Advisory Committee. Since 2020, she is a member of Board of Trustees of Transparency International, Bangladesh.

Dr Matthew Scott is head of the People on the Move thematic area at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law in Lund, Sweden. His area of expertise lies in legal and policy responses to internal and cross-border displacement in the context of disasters and climate change. In this space, he has published a monograph with Cambridge University Press entitled Climate Change, Disasters and the Refugee Convention, an edited volume with Routledge entitled Climate Change, Disasters and Internal Displacement in Asia and the Pacific: A Human Rights-Based Approach, along with a range of book chapters and academic articles on the subject. He is a member of the advisory committee of the Platform on Disaster Displacement, a member of the editorial board of the Yearbook of International Disaster Law, and a founding member of the Nordic Network on Climate Related Displacement and Mobility, and the Gothenburg, Lund, Uppsala Migration Law Network. He holds a PhD in Public International Law from Lund University, and a Masters degree in Social Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London.

Romola Adeola is the Director of the Global Engagement Network on Internal Displacement in Africa (GENIDA). She is an Extraordinary Lecturer and the Migration Clinic Coordinator at the Centre for Human Rights, Faculty of Law, University of Pretoria. She was a Steinberg Fellow in International Migration Law and Policy at the Centre for Human Rights and Legal Pluralism, Faculty of Law, McGill University (2016-2017) and lectures on the AU Humanitarian Law and Policy Training Course.


Refugee Law Initiative
020 7862 8668