IB 2022/18 Kiribati and Climate Displacement: How the Pacific Engagement Visa can help
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Kiribati and Climate Displacement: How the Pacific Engagement Visa can help
The introduction of Australia’s Pacific Engagement Visa (PEV) represents a new era for Pacific migration. Announced in May 2022, the PEV will provide a new climate security pathway for small islands. However, it is not clear how the new visas will be allocated across the Pacific, or whether preferential access will be given to smaller island nations like Kiribati, which are more vulnerable to rising sea levels. This In Brief explores the potential opportunities the PEV could provide Kiribati given that there are no international laws or other mechanisms to protect climate-displaced persons (McAdam 2012). I-Kiribati see the new visa as an expression of te utu (family) values, in particular the obligation of families to assist each other in times of needs. By helping populations most affected by climate change, Australia is showing regional leadership.