The human security perspective

Countries often also look at the environmental migration issue from a national security perspective. While empirical evidence does not generally support the view that migrants, including environmental migrants, disproportionately exacerbate conflict and crisis, this position does resonate within some domestic constituencies. Population movements in areas with pre-existing tensions and limited resources can exacerbate scarcity but migrants are rarely the main or sole trigger for escalating conflict.

Instead of stigmatizing migrants as a source of crisis the focus should remain on the requirements to ensure human security in a particular geographic area. This would ensure that critical economic and food security, as well as health, community and political security are understood as a need for all, not just for migrant communities affected by environmental change (IOM 2009).