Launch of Report: Impact of COVID-19 on nexus between climate change and labour migration in selected South Asian countries: An exploratory study

The study is anchored in the risk that migrants face due to climate change, further exacerbated by COVID-19 and its negative implications on the world of work in South Asian countries, especially in Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The study further explores innovative solutions by governments, businesses and civil society organizations to overcome these existing challenges. The report is scheduled for a virtual launch on 25 January 2022 from 3:00 – 4:30PM IST

Climate change has been identified as the single greatest risk impeding the achievement of the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development Goals. Without adequate safeguards, climate change related migration will further exacerbate vulnerability for migrant communities. In South Asia, climate change can affect the world of work, through extreme heat, droughts, or floods. The region has a history of climate crises, displacement and people migrating for work. With the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, many of the risks to the world of work have been magnified, both in rural and urban areas, particularly in the informal economy.

The study seeks to understand the impact of COVID-19 on the nexus between climate change, the labour market and migration in selected South Asian countries, particularly India, Bangladesh, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. The learnings will help to better understand how internal and international migrant workers, who moved in the context of climate change, have been affected by the outbreak of COVID-19.

The research draws on the diverse challenges experienced by internal and international climate-induced migrant workers from these selected South Asian countries and collates good examples and innovative measures undertaken by governments and civil society organizations to protect migrant workers during the pandemic. The research also offers some policy recommendations while factoring in the intersectional realities of migrant workers.

The report launch will serve as an opportunity to discuss how to address the combined impact of climate change and the pandemic in South Asia while taking stock of recent policy efforts towards climate action and measures to facilitate safe, orderly and regular migration.