It is widely suggested that migration is a key mechanism linking climate change to violent conflict, particularly through migration increasing the risks of conflict in urban destinations. Yet climate change also creates new forms of insecurity through distress migration, immobility and vulnerability that are prevalent in urban destination locations. Here we examine the extent and nature of human security in migration destinations and test whether insecurity is affected by length of residence and environmental hazards. The study develops an index measure of human security at the individual level to include environmental and climate-related hazards as well as sources of well-being, fear of crime and violence, and mental health outcomes. It examines the elements of human security that explain the prevalence of insecurity among recent and established migrants in low-income urban neighbourhoods. The study reports on data collected in Chattogram in Bangladesh through a survey of migrants (N = 447) and from qualitative data derived using photo elicitation techniques with cohorts of city planners and migrants. The results show that environmental hazards represent an increasing source of perceived insecurity to migrant populations over time, with longer-term migrants perceiving greater insecurity than more recent arrivals, suggesting lack of upward social mobility in low-income slums. Ill-health, fear of eviction, and harassment and violence are key elements of how insecurity is experienced, and these are exacerbated by environmental hazards such as flooding. The study expands the concept of security to encompass central elements of personal risk and well-being and outlines the implications for climate change.
This was originally published on SAGE Publications Ltd: Journal of Peace Research: Table of Contents.