WSF Nepal 2024 Panel Discussion copy

Climate Change, Migration and Moden Slavery: Uncovering New Evidence for Policy-making

On February 18th, OKUP organized a workshop at the World Social Forum 2024 in Kathmandu, Nepal,
addressing the critical theme “Climate Change, Migration, and Modern Slavery: Uncovering New
Evidence for Policy-making.”
As we know Bangladesh, located in a low-lying delta, faces severe vulnerabilities to climate change,
experiencing increased frequency and intensity of disasters like cyclones, floods, and waterlogging. The
OKUP longitudinal research indicates a rise in these incidents over the past 15 years, particularly after
cyclones Sidr (2007) and Aila (2009). On average, the region witnesses a cyclone every 17 months,
annual floods, and altered rainfall patterns damaging crop yields. Escalating salinity poses a persistent
threat, compromising water sources, soil fertility, and biodiversity.
Despite a multitude of existing laws, policies, and international commitments addressing climate change
and migration in isolation, there exists a conspicuous gap in policies that comprehensively address the
interconnected challenges. The absence of holistic approaches leaves affected communities without
effective strategies for sustainable adaptation and resilience. This underscores the urgent need for
integrated policies and programs both at the national and international levels.
The workshop places a spotlight on OKUP’s research and practical experiences while also incorporating
diverse perspectives from key stakeholders in the South Asia region. The primary objective is to bring
forth regional perspectives from South Asia, examining the intricate interconnections between climate
change, migration, and modern slavery. The event aims to advocate for policies and programs that
directly benefit the affected communities in the region.
Representatives from influential networks such as Migrant Forum Asia (MFA), Global Alliance Against
Traffic in Women (GAATW), ACRON, and Coordination of Action Research on AIDS and Mobility in Asia
(CARAM Asia) actively participated in the workshop. The event drew 60 participants from France, the
Philippines, Nepal, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh, fostering an engaged atmosphere where questions
and discussions further enriched the exploration of these critical issues.

Key Note Session:
Omar Faruque Chowdhury, Executive Director, OKUP: “Climate-induced migration and modern
slavery are not just issues for Bangladesh, they are global challenges demanding international
cooperation and collective action.”

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