Matthew leads the People on the Move team at the Raoul Wallenberg Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. Academically, he focuses in particular on the international legal status of persons who are displaced in the context of disasters and climate change, and successfully defended his doctoral thesis in 2018, entitled Refugee Status Determination in the Context of ‘Natural’ Disasters and Climate Change: A Human Rights-Based Approach.

He also coordinates the Institute’s activities relating to refugees and other displaced persons across Africa, Asia-Pacific, Europe and MENA regions, working across research, education, direct engagement and human rights forum modalities. He is currently leading a ten-country research project on disasters and displacement in Asia-Pacific and represents RWI in a SIDA-funded initiative to integrate a rights-based approach to disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation initiatives in that region.

He teaches Masters-level courses in international human rights law and international refugee law at Lund University and convenes the core module on Protecting human rights, refugees and displaced persons in international law for the University of London, School of Advanced Study MA in Refugee Protection and Forced Migration Studies.

His academic work has been published in the International Journal of Refugee Law, Refugee Survey Quarterly, Forced Migration Review and in specialist edited volumes.

Publications/recent projects

  • Matthew Scott, ‘Climate Refugees and the 1951 Convention’ in Satvinder Juss (ed) Elgar Research Handbook on Refugees (Edward Elgar Publishing 2017) (forthcoming)
  • Matthew Scott, ‘Finding Agency in Adversity: Applying the Refugee Convention in the Context of Disasters and Climate Change’ (2016) 35 Refugee Survey Quarterly 26
  • Matthew Scott, ‘A role for Strategic Litigation’ (2015) 49 Forced Migration Review: Disasters and Displacement in a Changing Climate 
  • Matthew Scott, ‘Refuge from Climate Change-Related Harm: Evaluating the Scope of International Protection within the Common European Asylum System” in C Bauloz and others (eds) Seeking Asylum in the European Union: Critical Perspectives on the Second Phase of the Common European Asylum System (Brill/Martinus Nijhoff 2015)
  • Matthew Scott, ‘Natural Disasters, Climate Change and Non-Refoulement: What Scope for Resisting Expulsion under Articles 3 and 8 ECHR?’ (2014) 26 International Journal of Refugee Law 404