We have an ongoing seminar series which involves disaster experts from across the world. If you would like to attend one of our seminars you can contact us on

We are excited to announce our first IDEAL online seminar for 2022!

The topic is:

'Climate-induced Displacement in the Sahel: A Question of Classification'

and will be presented by Dr Cristiano D'Orsi. Dr D'Orsi is a Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer at the South African Research Chair in International Law, Faculty of Law, University of Johannesburg. We are pleased to announce that this session will be chaired by Dr Marie Aronsson-Storrier (University College Cork).

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This presentation is based on Dr D'Orsi's recent publication in the International Review of the Red Cross. The abstract reads:


This article examines legal aspects of climate-induced forced displacement in the Sahel region of North Africa. The Sahel region is being adversely affected by climate change, leading to the displacement of thousands of people, both cross-border migrants and internally displaced persons (IDPs). The conventional stance is that refugee status does not extend to individuals displaced as a result of natural or environmental catastrophes and that consequently a normative gap exists in international refugee law. However, the position in international law may not be as clear-cut as this conventional view assumes, in light of recent trends which are moving towards the recognition of the rights of such displaced people.


It seems clear that under the terms of the 1951 Refugee Convention, such people are excluded from refugee status, and while the situation is less obvious under the Organisation of African Unity Convention on Refugees in Africa, it appears that the end result is the same, although there seems to be an increasing desire for recognition of refugee status under that treaty. Other regional treaties are also taking tentative steps in this direction; the Kampala Convention on IDPs is especially noteworthy because it makes express references to circumstances such as natural disasters. A human rights approach may offer hope to displaced people, since climate change can impact on a number of rights – particularly significant is the decision of the UN Human Rights Committee in Teitiota v. New Zealand which acknowledged the harmful impact of climate change. The response, legislative and otherwise, of five Sahel States towards forcibly displaced persons is examined in this article.

This online seminar will be held via Zoom on 28 April 2022 at 10am South Africa Standard Time (9am UK BST, 10am CEST, 8pm NZT).

Please register at:


If you have any questions or queries, please let us know. 

Past Seminars...

Have a look at our past events to see what type of topics have been discussed at previous seminars!

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We are very excited to announce a date for our upcoming international ‘rolling’ conference!

*Friday 17th September 2021*

Our global conference will be held online and cover a range of regions and time zones. Our aim is to make sure that the conference is accessible to as many people as possible – regardless of location and time zone!

We will have great speakers discussing thought-provoking topics – so save the date and keep posted for more information!

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The course is structured as a 5-day intensive course (Monday-Friday). The course is planned to be held in person, subject to any development in the Covid-19 health emergency.

The course aims to:


  • provide participants with a sound knowledge of the legal frameworks pertaining to disaster management activities and the role of human rights in the prevention and response to natural and technological disasters;


  • raise awareness on the critical role of human rights in disaster settings, and therefore favour a more human-rights sensitive approach to disaster management;


  • engage participants in exchanges of ideas and experiences so as to foster academic and professional cooperation among all those involved.

To find out more information check out the webpage: contact Riccardo Luporini, email: