Document / Publication
Columbia Law School
This paper is concerned with rising sea levels that have the potential to submerge coastal regions and displace millions of people. It reports on how current international legal frameworks applicable to refugees and immigrants will offer little protection to citizens of Freely Associated States (FAS) displaced by rising sea levels. The FAS are sovereign nations (Marshall Islands, Micronesia, and Palau) that have negotiated Compacts of Free Association with the United States, under which the U.S. provides the states with certain types of assistance. It addresses how current refugee and immigration laws do not adequately address human displacement associated with climate change, and it presents one of the few immigration options open to citizens of the FAS who choose to, or are forced to, relocate abroad due to rising sea levels.