Migration Out of Climate Change


In 2019 two different types of research on Migration were published. Though one mentioned the Iron Age and therefore the other to 2019, both have an official finding: The role of utmost weather events in Migration of population.

Natural disasters have always been considered the rationale for sudden displacement or Migration of population. But over the past few decades, there is a significant probing into the role of global climate change — an extended period of transition that fundamentally alters the coordinates of human existence, like rain, water availability and water level — in large-scale human migration.

Climate change is undoubtedly causing extreme weather events, resulting in unprecedented disasters across the planet.

The first study by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur (IIT KGP) has found convincing evidence for the favored hypothesis that global climate change caused human migration during and after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization. The researchers concluded this from the study of two previously unknown post-Harappan Iron Age sites within the western a part of the good Rann of Kutch and therefore the lower fringes of the Thar Desert.

The Iron Age (3,100-2,300 years ago) is usually mentioned because the ‘Dark Age’ due to scant historical and archaeological evidence from that period. The sites studied by the IIT KGP researchers are the primary Iron Age sites found during this region.

The study, published in Elsevier journal Archaeological Research in Asia in November 2019, established that the inhabitants of the Indus Valley Civilisation slowly moved from Indus Valley sites within the west towards the Ghaggar-Hakra valley within the east.

“Our findings suggest that such human migration was much more expansive than thought before. We believe that the gradual southward shift of Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) over the last 7,000 years forced people to migrate for greener pastures,” says Anindya Sarkar, lead author of the study and professor of geology and geophysics at IIT KGP.

The shifting of ITCZ decreased monsoon rains, dehydration rivers which might have made agriculture difficult.

The human migration from the Indus Valley Civilisation is exceptionally almost like the one that might happen — or is already happening, from regions impacted by human-induced global climate change, especially in low-lying coastal areas and islands that always bear the brunt of utmost weather events and water level rise. Back in 1990, the Intergovernmental Panel on global climate change |temperature change”> global climate change (IPCC) noted that the only most significant impact of climate change is going to be on human migration.

Experts believe that by 2050, quite 200 million people are going to be forced to escape their homes. they’re referred to as climate migrants or climate refugees. This second study, World Migration Report 2020, was released by the UN in December 2019. The report establishes the role of natural disasters in Migration and says: “Many more people are newly displaced by disasters in any given year, compared with those newly displaced by conflict and violence, and more countries are suffering from disaster displacement.”


Since the interior Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC) started collating data on persons displaced by disasters in 2018, this set of the population has been increasing. By the top of that year, some 1.6 million people displaced by disasters were still in camps or places out of their homes.

This figure was exclusively for disasters that happened in 2018. This was a “highly conservative estimate” because it didn’t take into consideration the displacement by disasters before this year. At 2.678 million people, India had the very best number of individuals displaced by disasters and extreme weather events in 2018.

In 2018, of the entire new 28 million internally displaced people in 148 countries, 61 per cent were thanks to disasters. As compared, 39 per cent were thanks to conflict and violence. Consistent with IDMC, storms displaced 9.3 million people and flooded 5.4 million. Similarly, more countries reported displacement thanks to disaster than conflict and violence: 144 for emergencies and 55 for conflicts and violence. Consistent with the UN, disasters and geophysical hazards have triggered a mean 3.1 million displacements a year since 2008.

People move their place of habitation due to the right sort of social, political, economic and other environmental reasons which are all interconnected. It’s difficult to delineate one from the opposite, says the report global climate change, Migration and Displacement published by Overseas Development Institute and United Nations Development Programme in November 2017.

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It also states that in 2016, about 24 million people were instantly displaced by the sudden onset of climate events like cyclones and floods. Still, there’s little or no evidence to tell about the number of individuals migrating thanks to slow onset events like drought and desertification.

The evidence for such climate change-based migration is slowly surfacing. As an example, during 2011-2015, climatic changes like severe drought-induced conditions led to armed conflict, which, in turn, led to asylum-seeking and Migration, consistent with a search paper published within the journal Global Environmental Change in January 2019.

“The effect of climate on conflict occurrence is especially relevant for countries in West Asia during 2010–2012, when many countries were undergoing political transformation,” it says. During the Conference of Parties (COP25) to the UN Framework Convention on global climate change (UNFCCC) held in Madrid, Spain, in December 2019, the planet Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the annual State of worldwide Climate 2019.

According to this report, 22 million people would be displaced by New Year’s Eve, 2019, thanks to extreme weather events. The report noted that extreme weather events, triggered by heating and therefore the resultant global climate change, increased in 2019. This is often a trend that has continued since the past few decades.

“On a day-to-day basis, the impacts of global climate change play out through extreme and abnormal weather. And, once more, in 2019, weather and climate-related risks hit hard. Heatwaves and floods, which won’t be once-in-a-century events, are getting more regular occurrences,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.

According to the report, quite 10 million people were displaced internally — within a rustic — between January and June 2019. Of this, 7 million were thanks to extreme weather events like floods, cyclones and hurricanes.

Displacement or rise in Migration thanks to disasters has raised concerns on increasing human trafficking. it’s extended that in countries like India, there is clear evidence of linkage between disaster, Migration and vulnerability to human trafficking. The UN Environment Programme estimates that trafficking goes up by 20-30 per cent during disasters.

Thus, global climate change impacts would be adding to the present already a precipitating trade human in modern time. consistent with the Overseas Development Institute: “There might be up to 325 million impoverished people living within the 49 countries most exposed to the complete range of natural hazards and climate extremes in 2030.”

A media scanning would show that incidences of human traffickers being arrested or tracked and girls being rescued spiked during or post-disaster in Indian states, particularly in Odisha, Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh. During the drought of 2016, media reports were widespread on girls being trafficked from states like Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.

According to Michael B Gerrard, Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice and Director of the Sabin Center for global climate change Law at Columbia school of law, US: “At least 21 million people globally are victims of human trafficking, typically involving either sexual exploitation or forced labor. This type of modern-day slavery tends to extend after natural disasters or conflicts where large numbers of individuals are displaced from their homes and become highly vulnerable. within the decades to return, global climate change will very likely cause an outsized increase within the number of individuals who are displaced and thus susceptible to trafficking.”

According to a survey by the world organization of Migration of migrants crossing the Mediterranean into Europe, 79 per cent pointed at some aspects of human trafficking or illegally being put into work or other activities without consent. As disasters become widespread and intensity higher, refugees’ number well.

This is the vulnerable group for human trafficking. United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres has also acknowledged global climate change, natural disasters and poverty as factors that “exacerbate the vulnerabilities and desperation that enable trafficking to flourish”.


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