The sea levels rise with each passing day and visions of scores upon scores of cities, wiped out and underwater, with sparse memorabilia being left in their demise, is enough to send shivers down anyone’s spine.

This purported collapse of our civilization is far from a nightmare for it is real and it is happening. However, during the entire discourse concerning how climate change and global warming affect us, the human cost of it all has been veiled over.

Thus, as we stand in the present day and age with the climate crisis still looming, we decipher the dear price many civilians like us, have had to pay for the folly committed for aeons. The price paid by a human being’s sweet innocence as they are sucked into the quicksand of a slowly depleting earth.

It is unfortunate that we, as the dominant species on this planet, have concocted our own swan song as well as the Earth’s. However, during this tussle between our survival and Nature’s, we have put the lives of many children in jeopardy, convulsing into the flesh trade. 

How Climate Change Is Increasing Human Trafficking

Having a house near the seas has been the numero uno dream for each and every one of us somewhere down the line, growing up or otherwise. Having the cool sea breeze hit our face as we look towards the horizon that conjoins with the sky in the infinite, yet, during this fantasy, the possible vision of having one’s house submerged underwater seldom arrives. 

Unfortunately, that is the fact of our world today. People have taken to migrating from their hometowns to unknown lands and cold, hardened cities because of the calamity called global warming. 

Climate change has forced almost everyone’s hand, especially the people belonging to the agrarian sector, owing to the inexplicably haphazard weather patterns. Coupled with that, the irregular weather patterns have invited the brewing of horrifying storms that engulf these lands.

Furthermore, natural disasters don’t begin and end with storms, as it has led to droughts, floods as well as megafires that have razed entire villages. During the entire course of such chaos, the poverty-stricken have had no choice but to leave their villages in search of alternate livelihood portals, making them more susceptible to slavery. 

It has been reported that the rate of mass migration will only increase manifold within 2050

The findings come from a joint report published by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the Anti-Slavery International. The report found that a drought in Northern Ghana had led to mass migration of young men and women to major cities to support themselves and their families.

Numerous women had started taking numerous odd jobs as porters and labourers. According to the report, they are at risk of becoming victims of trafficking, sexual exploitation and debt bondage. 

The report contained the heartbreaking testimony of a woman travelling from her village in northern Ghana to Accra. Owing to excessive flooding in her village, she had to leave hoping to find a source of livelihood in the cities. As of now, she has worked as a porter (kayayie) in the city for the past seven years. She stated;

“Working as a kayayie has not been easy for me. When I came here, I did not know anything about the work. I was told that the woman providing our pans will also feed us and give us accommodation. However, all my earnings go to her and only sometimes will she give me a small part of the money I’ve earned.” 

Debt bondage has hundreds of African men, women and children in its clutches and climate change is a major catalyst propagating it

According to Frann Witt, a climate change and modern slavery advisor at Anti-Slavery International said the following to provide the basis for their report;

“Our research shows the domino effect of climate change on millions of people’s lives. Extreme weather events contribute to environmental destruction, forcing people to leave their homes and leaving them vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and slavery.”

The World Bank estimates that by 2050, the climate crisis will yield about 216 million people losing their homes which will ultimately lead to forced mass migration, across six regions. These regions majorly include Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America.

Also Read: ResearchED: Climate Change And India: What The Latest IPCC Report Holds For India?

How Climate Change Affects India

Climate change has affected the Sunderban Delta in the worst possible ways as the world’s largest and far-reaching mangrove forests retreat each year making inlands into the state. The rate of the retreat has caused many climate change experts to believe that the entirety of the delta will submerge in 15-25 years. 

This has been owed to excessive flooding in the region coupled with the low elevation. Regular flooding in these regions has led to most villagers losing their sources of livelihood, making the course of action for the traffickers only more clear cut. 

Acres upon acres of submerged land has become the true sight of the Sunderbans

Owing to a dearth of job opportunities in the area and floods that lead to crops failing, the younger members of the family have to take the road towards cities to support their families. The traffickers exploit such hardships as they arrive as job recruiters, or use “local unemployed poor” men to lure girls with the false promise of marriage.

The abducted girls are then traded to a lifetime of slavery as they get sold into prostitution and as domestic help, sometimes landing in a region as far away as the Middle East. 

To put matters into perspective, West Bengal accounts for one of the highest missing women cases in India, accounting for 31,299 cases in 2018 itself.

As elucidated by a village elder in Sunderban;

It’s no longer a matter of improving our situation; we are just fighting to keep it from getting any worse.

Image Source: Google Images

Sources: The Revelator, The Guardian, Relief Web

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This post is tagged under: climate change in india, what is climate change, global climate change, global warming, impact of climate change, climate change and global warming, effects of climate change, causes of climate change, climate change causes, climate change upsc, climate change project, ministry of environment forest and climate change, climate change performance index, climate change definition, climate change news, mass migration, illegal migrants, trafficking, human trafficking, sex trade, flesh trade, prostitution, child trafficking

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