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Whose move? Addressing migration and displacement in the face of climate change 
19-21 October 2021

World leaders might – or might not – reach a bold agreement to slow global warming at the Glasgow talks in November. Either way, people will continue to move away from the impacts of climate change and disasters – often because they have no choice.  

Already, intensifying wildfires, cyclones, droughts, floods and rising seas are making lives and livelihoods increasingly precarious for millions of people around the world. As climate change exacerbates these pressures, more people will need to move. Some will relocate within their own countries, others may be displaced further afield. Where will they go and how? Will the law be a help or a hindrance?  

At this crucial time in global policymaking, the Kaldor Centre Conference 2021 brings together world experts to share evidence, experience and solutions for people at risk of displacement in the context of climate change and disasters. 

Audio and video recordings from this event are now available.

Above the Clouds

Setting the agenda

Over several days our ambitious, agenda-setting program will unpack where we stand in the context of climate change and disasters, where we are going, and what can be done to promote protection in the face of emerging challenges. 

Global reach,

diverse voices

Harnessing the opportunities of going online, we will welcome speakers and delegates from across the globe with live and on-demand sessions designed to be accessible around the world.

Not just talk

This will be more than just a series of talks. Breakout sessions and Q&A during live sessions will promote engagement and exchange amongst delegates across the world with two key panel sessions scheduled each day at 9:30am and 5:30pm AEDT.

Learn. Share. Connect.
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@KaldorCentre  #Kaldor21

Image credit: Roger Arnold/UNHCR

Explore the program
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Today’s truths: What decision-makers need to know about human mobility and climate change

19 October 2021, 9:30-10:30am AEDT

Experts set out the key questions and principles that should guide responses to mobility in the face of climate change.

Rabab Fatima

Ambassador of Bangladesh to the United Nations

Andrew Harper

Special Advisor on Climate Action to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Frances Namoumou

Pacific Conference of Churches

Nicole Shepardson

US Department of State

Chair: Jane McAdam

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

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Litigating climate change displacement: Cutting-edge cases and decisions

20 October 2021, 9.30-10.30am AEDT

From Alaska to the Torres Strait, litigation is raising creative arguments about climate change displacement.

Robin Bronen

Alaska Institute for Justice

Ama Francis

International Refugee Assistance Project

Adam McBeth

Victorian Bar

Solomon Yeo

Pacific Islands Students Fighting Climate Change

Chair: llona Millar

Baker McKenzie

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Should I stay or should I go? Planned relocations

21 October 2021, 9.30-10.30am AEDT

When whole communities need to relocate, who decides – to move at all, and if so, where?

Erica Bower

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Daniel Fitzpatrick

Faculty of Law, Monash University

Salote Soqo

Climate Justice & Crisis Response, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee

Merewalesi Yee

University of Queensland

Chair: Elizabeth Ferris

Institute for the Study of International Migration, Georgetown University

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Moving beyond ‘climate refugees’: Readying law, policy and practice for displacement in a warming world

19 October 2021, 5.30-6.30pm AEDT

How does law help or hinder people on the move from the impacts of disasters or climate change?

Bruce Burson

New Zealand Immigration and Protection Tribunal

Lucy Daxbacher

Head of Mission to Uganda, Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)

Walter Kälin

Envoy of the Chair, Platform on Disaster Displacement

Caroline Zickgraf

Deputy Director, The Hugo Observatory

Chair: Tamara Wood

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

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Does the data on climate and disaster displacement add up?

20 October 2021, 5.30-6.30pm AEDT

What do we know, how do we know it, and what more do we need to know to inform policies on climate change and mobility?

Vicente Anzellini

Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre

Tautala Mauala

Samoan Red Cross

Andrea Milan

International Organization for Migration

Kira Vinke

Center for Climate and Foreign Policy

Chair: Sanjula Weerasinghe

Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

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To Glasgow and beyond: Building support for people moving away from climate change

21 October 2021, 5.30-6.30pm AEDT

How can we build support for people at risk of climate and disaster displacement, at COP26 and beyond?

Nisreen Elsaim

UN Secretary General's Youth Advisory Group on Climate Change

Alex Randall

Climate and Migration Coalition

Koko Warner

UN Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Martijn Wilder

Pollination Group

Chair: Linh Do

Head of Campaign Networks, Climate Catalyst


Get tickets

Register for tickets below or go to booking site.

The Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law at UNSW Sydney is the world's first research centre dedicated to the study of international refugee law. The Centre was founded in 2013 to undertake rigorous research on the most pressing issues in Australia, the Asia-Pacific region and the world, and to contribute to public policy promoting legal, sustainable and humane solutions to forced migration. 

We acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which we live and work,

and pay our respects to their elders – past, present and emerging.

Premier Sponsor

The Kaldor Centre would like to thank our premier conference sponsor

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The Kaldor Centre would like to thank the following conference sponsors for their generous support

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To discuss sponsorship opportunities, please contact us at kaldorcentre@unsw.edu.au.


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Andrew & Renata Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law

Faculty of Law, UNSW Sydney, NSW 2052 Australia



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