Migration, Development and Natural Disasters

Insights from the Indian Ocean Tsunami

image of Migration, Development and Natural Disasters

According to the present report, the recent Asian tsunami highlights the need to take migrant communities, both regular and irregular, into account when planning for natural disasters in order to ensure they are treated in accordance with the core principles of international human rights law and international humanitarian law. The report concludes that a number of measures need to be taken to ensure that migrants are fairly treated in the aftermath of a disaster, including the setting up of systems to monitor their immediate, medium and long-term well-being.



Executive summary

When natural disasters strike populated areas, the toll in human lives, infrastructure and economic activities can be devastating and long-lasting. The psychological effects can be just as debilitating, instilling fear and discouragement in the affected populations. But, adversity also brings forth the strongest and best in human beings, and reveals initiatives, capacities and courage not perceived before. How is development undermined by natural disasters, what is the effect on migrants and migratory flows and what is the role of migration in mitigating some of the worst effects of natural calamities?


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