Climate justice is migrant justice!

For Refugee Week, we are collaborating with, People & Planet, and the Climate Justice Coalition to stand up for migrant justice.

Decolonisation = migrant justice, racial justice, climate justice

As more communities are forced from their homes by the climate crisis, we must fight for people’s right to stay and ensure safe pathways for those who must move. #WeFightTogether – because climate justice is migrant justice!

The climate crisis continues to be exacerbated by colonialism and imperialism. Global superpowers and corporations like Big Oil continue to extract resources in the Global South, displacing communities, ruining livelihoods, destroying ecosystems, causing conflicts and releasing harmful emissions that increase the severity and frequency of climate disasters on an unprecedented scale.

The climate crisis continues to cause untold suffering and displacement. It disproportionately affects people in the Global South, people from Global South countries who have migrated to Global North countries, and Black, Brown and racialised communities around the world.

Climate justice cannot be achieved without acknowledging that the climate crisis is rooted in racist and colonial origins, and the people who have done the least to cause the climate crisis are those who continue to be impacted the most. We need to ensure that our climate fight centres the voices and needs of those on the frontlines.

No climate justice without migrant justice, racial justice and decolonisation.

Decolonisation is a world where people are free to move but also free to stay.

Decolonisation is a world where people are free to move but also free to stay.

This Refugee Week, we are thinking about all the people who have no choice but to move, and have to build a home somewhere else.

We are also thinking about the reasons why people are being forced to leave their homes and homelands, and the colonial, imperialist and capitalist legacies that underpin this. All around the world, people flee climate impacts and political, ecological and economic underdevelopment and collapse brought about by ongoing Western colonialism and military/economic/political interventions. For instance, Western corporations profit from the mining of coltan, cobalt, gold, diamond and other minerals in Congo, whilst the UK, US and France have been providing military funding to both Rwandan and Ugandan militias in Congo. Another example is the US and the UK arming Saudi Arabia’s war on Yemen, causing mass death and displacement. Finally, Iraq and Afghanistan have been militarily invaded by the US and the UK, often for the purposes of extracting natural resources such as oil.

Displacement shouldn’t be happening. People should not be being displaced from their homes. It’s not right, and it never will be. If we want to put an end to displacement, then we must decolonise.

Decolonisation involves returning the land and the homes stolen from Indigenous peoples, an end to Western/corporate interventions, and reparations to communities affected by colonialism and imperialism.

A decolonised world looks like a world where no-one is forced out of their homeland and every one is able to move freely if they wish to, on their own terms, and without duress or coercion. It’s a world where colonial systems and borders are no more. Essentially, decolonisation recognises the right to move, but also the right to stay.

We must be intentional with the language we use, especially around decolonisation. To use ‘decolonisation’ to mean ‘diversity’ does a disservice to the people who continue to resist colonialism and imperialism. To honour people’s right to stay, we must recognise the true meaning of decolonisation, and its importance for migrant liberation.

Read more of our Words Matter explainer on decolonisation here.

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