Call for Papers: ‘Climate Change and Work on a Heated Planet’


Guest editors: Denise Brennan and Sallie Yea


Anti-Trafficking Review calls for papers for a Special Issue themed ‘Climate Change and Work on a Heated Planet’.

Climate change has widened the radius of precarious work. It is now not just the most marginalised workers who are exposed to greater economic precarity through climate ruin, but also relatively secure individuals. Droughts, floods, crop failures, and resulting indebtedness have made farming, for example, a losing proposition for relatively stable small landholders. As more people are forced out of their local economies, many become vulnerable to fraudulent recruiters, debt brokers, and traffickers. At the same time, climate-related precarity also pushes people to engage in environmental degradation and extraction to make ends meet.

As communities are exposed to both climate-related immediate dangers and long-term health risks, these noxious conditions challenge existing policies and legal frameworks that protect workers from situations of trafficking, forced labour, and precarious work and migration. This Special Issue of Anti-Trafficking Review will document deteriorating climate-induced labour conditions for migrant and local workers. It will also ask what will ‘count’ as forced labour when extreme heat conditions blanket the globe and climate-related disasters change landscapes, economies, and everyday lifeways.

While some instances of climate-related exploitation are spectacularly visible, like farm workers picking produce near the fire line in mandated evacuation zones, much of this labour exploitation and resource extraction happens out of sight – in rural areas, on industrial fishing vessels, and in uninspected factories. As invisible delayed destruction, what Rob Nixon describes as ‘slow violence’, affects workers and environments across industries and continents, this Special Issue invites contributions that chronicle these fast/slow and visible/invisible shifting conditions as they intersect with displacement, (forced and precarious) migrant labour, and human trafficking. It also will welcome interventions that seek to provoke discussion around strategies and practices that build worker power and protections in times of multiple crises.

Contributors are invited to engage with, but need not limit themselves to, the following topics:

  • Migration, displacement, trafficking, forced and precarious labour caused by the effects of the climate crisis;
  • Solidarities across social movements such as climate, de-colonial, feminist, worker, migrant, racial, and food justice;
  • Shifting demands by workers as new climate-related issues arise and existing ones worsen;
  • Debt and dispossession including the effects of the dissolution of insurance markets and access to capital and the declining sustainability of previous livelihood strategies;
  • The impact of droughts, floods, and other natural disasters on gendered and aged precarity, responsibilities, and burdens;
  • The future of climate reparations in the midst of worsening climate ruin;
  • Working conditions in so-called green jobs that are particularly dangerous (such as solar panel installation) as well as remain informal and outside labour law protection (such as palm oil industries);
  • The adaptability and responsiveness of anti-trafficking, labour, and migration frameworks to climate change-induced labour conditions.


Deadline for submissions: 15 December 2024

In addition to full-length conceptual, research-based, or case study thematic papers, we invite book reviews, collaborative interviews, and short, blog-style think pieces related to the issue’s theme. We particularly encourage contributions from organisers, activists, service providers, and people with lived experience of displacement, precarious labour, or trafficking.

Word count for full article submissions: 5,000 - 7,000 words, including footnotes, author bio, and abstract.

Word count for think pieces: 1,200 - 1,500 words, including footnotes and author bio.

We advise those interested in submitting to check out the journal’s style guide and submission guidelines and/or email the editorial team at with any queries. 

Special Issue to be published in September 2025.

We will hold an on-line workshop in July 2024 for those interested in contributing to this special issue to help authors develop their ideas and select the best format. We will then hold another workshop once articles have been accepted for publication. In this way, editors and authors can provide feedback to one another as well as make thoughtful connections between articles. Since this topic is under-researched, we will also encourage authors to share resources – academic and otherwise – to include in a Climate Change and Trafficking Resource List that will accompany this special issue.