Ensure ‘climate justice’ for migrants
Speakers during a two-day workshop stressed for significant stride in social, economic and political dimensions to address issues of climate vulnerabilities and ensure "climate justice" for migrants.
They further stressed the need for robust collaboration among the government, public sector, NGOs, academicians, and professional bodies in this regard.
Bangladesh Parliamentarians' Caucus on Migration and Development (BPCMD) and WARBE Development Foundation jointly organised the knowledge-sharing workshop on "Climate Change, Displacement and Migration" in Sreemangal that ended yesterday, said a press release of the caucus.
The event was supported by PROKAS, British Council and Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation.
The workshop was inaugurated with special remarks by Anisul Islam Mahmud, chairman, Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Expatriates' Welfare and Overseas Employment, and Mujibul Haque, chairman of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Ministry of Labour and Employment.
Moderated by Shirin Lira, senior IBP manager of PROKAS, the programme started with a brief presentation
on the activities and accomplishments of the caucus by Mahjabeen Khaled, former MP and secretary general of the caucus.
WARBE chairman Syed Saiful Haque pointed out the importance of defining the needs and rights of climate migrants and displaced people.
Atiq Rahman, executive director of Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies, mentioned that migrants who end up in slums in Dhaka were better in their villages.
Prof Tasneem Siddiqui, founding chair of Refugee and Migratory Movements Research Unit (RMMRU) said, "If we plan our cities in terms of climate change and target employment and connectivity well, climate related migration could become an opportunity."
RMMRU executive director Prof CR Abrar described the contemporary traits hindering migration justice, mentioning the critical scenario of migrants' wages amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
Tanvir Shakil Joy, MP and member of BPCMD, said the country need to create alternative living conditions like satellite cities for climate migrants.
As adaptation options, he stressed for the improvement of coastal embankment and afforestation project as well as climate resilient agriculture and food security project.
BPCMD member Aroma Dutta reinstated the importance of joint collaboration among lawmakers and CSOs in risk mitigation and prospects.
In the concluding session, BPCMD chair Barrister Shameem Haider Patwary specified that in Bangladesh's context, it's quite tough to create a conclusive environment for policymaking.
The caucus is trying to embolden the current environment in favour of policymaking, he said.