As hazards, disasters and climate change profoundly affect people’s lives and livelihoods, communities and authorities seek opportunities to move people permanently out of harm’s way. Planned relocation is generally considered as a measure of last resort. In this context, policymakers, practitioners and communities require refined information on how planned relocation could be undertaken to minimize negative impacts, avoid pitfalls and promote human rights and human dignity.
In this podcast, Kaldor Centre affiliates Erica Bower and Sanjula Weerasinghe discuss their latest report with Lauren Martin. The report, called 'Leaving Place, Restoring Home', was commissioned by the Kaldor Centre and the Platform on Disaster Displacement, with a global dataset of more than 300 planned relocation cases.
Listen to the podcast here, or subscribe through iTunes.
About the speakers
Erica Bower is a specialist on climate change-related displacement and planned relocation, currently pursuing an interdisciplinary Doctorate at Stanford University. She is an affiliate of the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, a member of the Advisory Committee for the Platform on Disaster Displacement, and previously worked at the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) as the climate change and disaster displacement specialist in the Protection Policy and Legal Advice section. As an independent consultant, she has conducted research on climate-related human mobility for National Geographic, UN Women, Oxfam, the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice, the Norwegian Refugee Council's Internal Displacement Monitoring Centre (IDMC), and the South Asia consultations of the Nansen Initiative. She holds an MSc from Oxford University in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies, and a BA from Columbia University in Sustainable Development and Human Rights.
Sanjula Weerasinghe is an Australian lawyer based in Geneva, presently consulting with the UN Network on Migration. Previously, she worked in the Secretariat of the State-led Migrants in Countries in Crisis Initiative. Sanjula has undertaken senior and specialist roles with UNHCR and IOM focused on the intersection of international law, migration and displacement, particularly in contexts where disaster, climate change and conflict converge. She has authored commissioned reports for UNHCR, IOM, UNDRR, the Platform on Disaster Displacement and the Global Protection Cluster, and co-authored expert guidance and an edited book on Humanitarian Crises and Migration. Sanjula has worked with think tanks, research institutions and NGOs in Thailand, Hong Kong and the United States, where she directed legal aid centres for asylum seekers and refugees or managed projects on crises and migrants. She is a Centre Affiliate at the Kaldor Centre for International Refugee Law, a Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University and an Advisory Committee member of the Platform on Disaster Displacement. Sanjula received her LL.B (Hons) from Monash University and her LL.M. (Dist) from Georgetown University.
Lauren Martin is an award-winning journalist and the Kaldor Centre’s Communications Officer. She was an editor in Australia at The Sydney Morning Herald and The Global Mail, and in the United States, she was Managing Editor of the [Martha’s] Vineyard Gazette and Washington Editor for Institutional Investor publications. She also worked as Head of Communications at the Sydney Opera House.