Climate change, migration and vulnerability to trafficking


Climate change is increasing in frequency and intensity adding pressure to an already stressed system, placing the most vulnerable countries and communities at even greater risk of harm. Faced with devastation, people are forced to migrate in despair within and across borders to protect their lives, escape from hunger, and earn livelihoods - making them vulnerable to human trafficking and slavery. A new report from IIED, developed in partnership with PHIA Foundation and Aide et action, is among the first to provide an empirical and compelling evidence base on the links between climate change, migration and trafficking, and unpacks the underlying drivers that should be targeted by policymakers to deal with this nexus. This groundbreaking report provides the extent and impact of climate change on distress migration and human trafficking in two diverse areas impacted by slow onset and rapid onset climatic events. This research was undertaken with funding support from the South Asia Research Hub under the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), UK. IIED and Anti-Slavery International are exploring how climate-driven migration and displacement puts people at an increased risk of trafficking and slavery. This new evidence brings the increasingly complex and interrelated nature of climate crises into sharp focus with the view to inform the UNFCCC COP27 and high-level bodies such as the World Bank and the United Nations on the need to address climate change as a factor of distress migration, displacement and trafficking. This high-level launch event on Wednesday, 25 May will share the findings from the report and feature a panel discussion with real-life experiences of how climate impacts are resulting in forced labour, bonded labour, debt bondage and exploitative working conditions.

About the speakers

  • Clare Shakya, director, Climate Change research group; IIED
  • Jasmine O'Connor OBE, CEO; Anti-Slavery International
Welcome address
  • Sally Taylor, Director Development, Climate, Science and Technology, British High Commission, New Delhi
Keynote speakers
  • Siobhán Mullally, UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children
  • Cecilia Silva Bernardo, climate negotiator for Angola and for the least developed countries
Panel discussion
  • Josh Meyer (moderator), domestic security correspondent, USA Today and member of the advisory board for the Journalism Centre on Global Trafficking
  • Mamta Kohli (opening comments), senior social development advisor, FCDO
  • Ritu Bharadwaj, senior researcher, Climate Change research group; IIED
  • Johnson Topno, regional head of programme, Partnering Hope into Action (PHIA Foundation), India
  • Umi Daniel, director of migration and education, Aide et Action South Asia, India
  • Devanshu Chakravarti, researcher and independent consultant
Keynote speakers
  • Daljeet Kaur, climate and environment advisor, FCDO
  • Representatives of International Labour Organisation (ILO)
Next steps and thanks
  • Anirban Ganguly, South Asia Research Hub (SARH) under FCDO

About attending

When Wednesday, 25 May 2022, 11.30am-1pm (BST)/4-5.30pm (IST) Where Online via Everywhere+ About data protection The information you provide will be held on IIED's database to process your booking. We do not share data with any third parties. Please let us know if you do not want to receive any further information from us. Photography and videotaping This event will be photographed, and/or videotaped on behalf of the organiser(s) for display, distribution, and broadcast, including on television and the world wide web. By attending or participating in this event, you are giving your consent to be photographed and/or videotaped and waive any claims regarding the use of your image or contribution.

May 25, 2022
May 25, 2022
11:30 am
1:00 pm
Online via Everywhere+
International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED)

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