Today, International Migrants Day, is an opportunity to highlight the inextricable link between climate and migrant justice and how these struggles are struggles for human rights.
The climate crisis has already created extreme conditions across the world forcing people from their homes and disproportionately impacting migrant communities. People of color and low income people from the Global South in particular are experiencing the consequences of the climate crisis, from sea level rises engulfing island nations like the Marshall Islands, to increasingly intense storms destroying cities and villages in Bangladesh, to extreme heat and weather affecting migrant farmworkers in the U.S.
An average of 24 million people have been displaced by intense weather events fueled by the climate crisis each year since 2008. And according to the UN, by 2050, there could be as many as 1 billion people displaced by climate impacts.
As climate activists, it is our duty to educate ourselves and fight with and for these very communities in our pursuit for dignity, human rights, the right to migrate and to remain in one’s home. Check out just a few of the many activists and resources that call attention to the intersections of migrant and climate justice:
1. Watch 350.org’s video about the link between climate and migrant justice.
2. Watch The Leap’s video on why the climate movement should fight for migrant justice.
3. Watch 350.org’s video on how this coastal community in Bargny, Senegal, is being forced to migrate because climate-fueled coastal erosion, rising seas and drought.
4. Learn from these four social and environmental justice activists about why climate justice is migrant justice.
5. Listen to Yesenia Cuello, executive director at NC Field, as she talks about the impacts of climate fueled disasters like Hurricane Florence on migrant workers.
6. Hear Irma’s story, an Indigenous environmental activist from Honduras, which illustrates how state violence specifically against environmental activists forces many people like Irma to leave their countries.
At the Climate Strike in Boston— Irma, from speaks to thousands about her story of environmental activism in Honduras. Irma is one of many indigenous environmental activists across Latin America that have been fighting against climate change for generations and are often forced to flee or face persecution in their home country. Today, Irma, and all of a Cosecha, acts in solidarity with climate strikers across the globe. hasta la huelga!🌍✊🏾🌎✊🏼🌍✊🏿🌎✊🏻🌍✊🏾🌎✊🏿🌍En la huelga climática en Boston: Irma habla con miles de personas sobre su historia de activismo ambiental en Honduras. Irma es uno de los muchos activistas ambientales indígenas de América Latina que han estado luchando contra el cambio climático durante generaciones y a menudo se ven obligados a huir o enfrentar persecución en su país de origen. Hoy, Irma, y todos Cosecheros, actúan en solidaridad con los huelguistas climáticos de todo el mundo. hasta la huelga!
Posted by Movimiento Cosecha on Friday, September 20, 2019
7. Check out the Othering & Belonging Institute’s new report and video on climate refugees.
Learning about migrant struggles and their links to climate change is just the first step. We must continuously stand in solidarity with migrants and uplift the many ways they are already at the frontlines of the climate crisis. The fight for climate and migrant justice is the fight for human rights.