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After severe flooding destroyed her house and crops, Kakoli was forced to migrate to Dhaka in order to find work.

Roadmap to a framework for the protection of climate migrants

A discussion paper


Climate-related displacement and distress migration are real.

The world is a dangerous place at current levels of warming. Climate vulnerable communities, especially in the Global South, are suffering from these impacts and paying a heavy price through loss of their livelihoods and homes. Many among them become displaced and are forced to migrate, including across national borders.

With the possibility of a rise in global temperatures crossing the 1.5°C threshold by as early as 2040, the impacts of climate change are projected to worsen. This will displace many more people.

Climate-related displacement and forced migration across borders are likely to be among the biggest issues the world will face in the coming years and decades. And yet there exists no specific international legal framework for the protection of such communities, nor any concrete multilateral strategy to account for climate change as a driver of migration.

This paper presents a roadmap to develop a framework for the protection of climate vulnerable communities who are forced to cross borders. The roadmap is specific to the countries in South Asia, with the potential to be replicated in other countries and regions.

The paper draws on primary and secondary research of climate impacts on communities from across six South Asian countries, specifically: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as South Asia regional studies.