On September 19th, 2016, the United Nations Summit for Refugees and Migrants resulted in the landmark: The New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants. In this document, the 2015 global displaced persons population is listed as 244 Million, and is described as a group growing faster than any other. The United Nations broadly defines the conditions which can lead to a recognized refugee status and they include: climate change, armed conflict, poverty, food insecurity, persecution, terrorism, and human rights violations.

Human rights watch

The edition of climate change to this list in some ways signals greater interest on the part of international governing bodies to address the environment.

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Just last week the International Criminal Court affirmed its interest to begin pursuing environmental crimes as violations of essential protections. This document reaffirms for the global legal standing of the UN Declaration on Human Rights.

This document describes the on-going global refugee crisis as involving: "political, economic, social, developmental, humanitarian and legal ramifications, which cross all borders." The document goes on to clearly describe the specific human rights statuses of "refugees and migrants." These two words are not used interchangeably.

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While each of these international legal categories encompasses similar human rights protections, there are some areas of policy that differentiate them. This document calls on the creation of mechanisms to more adequately track and evaluate the threat refugee and migrant populations experience as a result of their status.

Global peace effort

The document calls for the creation of a "Comprehensive Refugee Response Network." This collaborative effort is described as a "global multi-stakeholder approach, including national and local authorities, international organizations, international financial institutions, regional organizations, regional coordination and partnership mechanisms, civil society partners, including faith-based organizations and academia, the private sector, media and the refugees themselves."

The full text of this document is available online on the Refugees and Migrants UN website.

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