Adele Del Guercio

Migrations Connected to Natural Disasters, Environmental Degradation and Climate Change: The Italian Cassation’s Decision No. 5022/2020

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Keywords: migrations linked to natural disasters, environmental degradation, and climate change; Teitiota decision; right to life with dignity; Court of Cassation; international protection; humanitarian protection.

The paper focuses on the issue of migrations connected to natural disasters, environmental degradation, and climate change, in order to ascertain what forms of protection the international community has provided for people who move due to the aforementioned factors. The paper focuses primarily on the international legal framework, beginning with the difficulties of definition of people on the move for environmental or climatic reasons, and then on the Italian legal order, whose asylum system has undergone various recent reforms. Particular attention is paid to the Court of Cassation’s order No. 2055/2020, which, citing the Teitiota decision of the UN Human Rights Committee, provides for the possibility of humanitarian protection (today ‘special protection’) being granted to an applicant who invokes the situation of conflict and environmental disaster in the Niger Delta.

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