From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : The ‘Lost at Home’ Report
Mains level : Internal Migration and Displacement
More than five million people were internally displaced in India due to natural disasters, conflict and violence in 2019, constituting the highest number of new internal displacements in the world.
Try to answer:
‘Environmental migrant’ is an issue that globally countries should start taking seriously. Discuss the statement with respect to India which already ranks high in climate vulnerability.
The ‘Lost at Home’ Report
- The report is published by the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
- It says that almost 33 million new displacements were recorded in 2019 — around 25 million were due to natural disasters and 8.5 million as a consequence of conflict and violence.
- Of these, there were 12 million new displacements involving children, including around 3.8 million of them caused by conflict and violence, and 8.2 million due to disasters linked mostly to weather-related events.
- The report said that natural disasters resulted in more new displacements than conflict and violence.
- Almost 10 million new displacements in 2019 were recorded in East Asia and the Pacific (39 %) — and almost the same number in South Asia (9.5 million).
- The report looks at the risks internally displaced children face —child labour, child marriage, trafficking among them — and the actions urgently needed to protect them.
Displacement in India
- India, the Philippines, Bangladesh and China all suffered from natural disasters leading to displacement in the millions, which accounted for 69% of global disaster-induced displacements.
- These were overwhelmingly caused by extreme conditions created by dangerous storms and floods.
- In India, the total number of new internal displacements in 2019 stood at 5,037,000 – including 5,018,000 due to natural disasters and 19,000 because of conflict and violence.
- India is followed by the Philippines, Bangladesh and China.
- The Philippines accounted for 4.27 million new internal displacements due to natural disasters, conflict and violence, Bangladesh 4.08 million and China 4.03 million.
- The largest number of internally displaced children due to conflict is found in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and sub-Saharan Africa.
- Internally displaced persons are concentrated in two regions — the Middle East and North Africa and West and Central Africa.
- The MENA region recorded over 12 million IDPs as a result of conflict and violence at the end of 2019. Almost all of them lived in just three countries — Syria, Yemen, and Iraq — and around 5 million were children.
What makes the situation worse?
- The COVID-19 pandemic is only making a critical situation worse.
- Camps or informal settlements are often overcrowded and lack adequate hygiene and health services.
- Physical distancing is often not possible, creating conditions that are highly conducive to the spread of the disease, the report said.