WCR 2024 advocates for robust frameworks against climate-induced migration

The groundbreaking World Citizenship Report 2024 delved into some of the nuances and dilemmas that revolve around climate-induced migration and outlined possible alternatives.

WCR 2024 advocates for robust frameworks against climate-induced migration
WCR 2024 advocates for robust frameworks against climate-induced migration

The groundbreaking World Citizenship Report 2024 delved into some of the nuances and dilemmas that revolve around climate-induced migration and outlined possible alternatives. Sharing the discourse on the aspect, the report stated that the climate induced displacement and involuntary migration is nuanced and intricate, entwined with social, economic, cultural, environmental, and political factors.

The report which was launched by CS Global Partners- a London based firm and world’s leading advisory on citizenship marketing stated that the climate displacement is one of the most devastating consequences of the century.

The climate migrants under this category are impelled or induced to migrate because of either their livelihoods being rendered unsustainable by proliferating natural disasters, or the irreversible degradation of environmental resources resulting from devastating reoccurring events.

Several natural calamities have impacted the lives of the people and made them change their nation to mitigate the harsh impacts which they have been facings years-on-years. The report mentioned about the Bangladesh and said that the country featured 26% hike in the salinity intrusion over the past 35 years with the affected areas expanding each year.

The World Bank report also described that around 300,000 migrants arrive in the capital city Dhaka each year, with coastal flooding and saline intrusion considered a major factor for so many fleeing the country’s coastal belt in the last decade.

Even, the United Nations Migration forecast also stated that one in seven people in Bangladesh will be displaced by 2051, the aggregate looming number could be 13.3 million people. It was outlined that the harsh impacts of the natural calamities has led to the massive climate change displacement and further posed threat to the existence of several small island developing states.

The WCR 2024 outlined that the countries such as Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Tuvalu, etc. where nations might become extinct, are threatened by the anticipated sea-level rise and longperiod swell waves. “These South Pacific Island countries are internationally regarded as a barometer for the early impacts of climate change. The Solomon Islands, for instance, have lost significant land, with some islands completely disappearing, ”mentioned the report.

Such countries have started implementing several initiatives to support their citizens and made them capable enough to find significant jobs abroad. The suitable example has come from Kiribati, as the government implemented “Migration with Dignity” programme to create a skilled workforce.

The entire scenario has made the scholars and advocates to give a call for regional and international frameworks for climate-induced migration. The first step came from the Africa Union which initiated the Kampala Convention in 2009 marking the first legally binding regional instrument to protect and assist internally displaced persons (IDPs) in Africa.

The efforts were further joined by Norway and Switzerland in 2012 as the countries introduced the ‘Nansen Initiative’ to address the potential legal and protection gaps for people in cross-border migration induced by environmental change and extreme weather conditions.

However, the World Citizenship Report 2024 stated that despite these efforts, certain governments have expressed reluctance to recognise climate refugees. For instance, the German government has explicitly stated that climate refugees cannot claim asylum in Germany. Nevertheless, some voices within the country, citing the Expert Council on Integration and Migration (SVR), argue that as a high CO2 emitter and natural resource consumer, Germany has a special responsibility to reduce emissions and support countries disproportionately affected by climate change.

In addition to that, the WCR also proposed some ideas and added that the ‘climate passport’ would offer permanent residency in the host country and be limited to people whose “entire territory” was lost due to the consequences of climate change, such as islands disappearing under sea level rise.

Although the debate on the matter has been continued since 2017, emphasizing the urgency of establishing a more inclusive and responsive framework. Finally, in 2018, the UN launched the ‘Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration’ which attempts to encompass all facets, including climate hazards.

The World Citizenship Report 2024 concluded that the climate-induced displacement is still on the surge and suggested that by fostering dialogue, embracing innovative solutions, and establishing robust international frameworks, the world can chart a course toward a future where migration is not just a response to crises but a proactive strategy for global resilience.