Millions of people threatened by human trafficking and slavery

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The worsening climate crisis and extreme weather disasters such as frequent floods, droughts and mega-fires are having a devastating impact on the livelihoods of people already living in poverty, making them more vulnerable to slavery. , according to the report.

Researchers from the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and the International Anti-Slavery Agency have found that drought in northern Ghana is forcing young people to migrate to large cities. Women, many of whom begin to work as porters, are exposed to human trafficking, sexual exploitation and debt bondage, a modern form of slavery in which workers are trapped.

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“I CANNOT PAY MY DEBT”

A woman who emigrated from northern Ghana to Accra was a farmer until her land was devastated by flooding and had to be relocated. Working as a cargo porter for seven years, the woman said, “Working as a Kayayie (porter) has not been easy for me. When I arrived here, I didn’t know anything about business. We were told that the woman who delivered our pans would also feed us and give us a place to stay. But all my earnings go to him. Sometimes he only gives me a small portion of the money I earn.

“I worked all the time, but I couldn’t pay my debt,” said the hapless woman who once had to pay for damage from a customer who dropped his business and couldn’t afford.

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HE IS WORKED IN HEAVY DUTY JOBS AND FORCED TO PROPOSAL

In the Sundarbans, on the border with India and Bangladesh, severe hurricanes caused flooding, reducing the land available for agriculture. As countries in the region tighten immigration restrictions, researchers found that smugglers and traffickers operating in the disaster-prone region were targeting desperate widows and men trying to cross the Indian border in search of ‘jobs and income. Victims of smuggling are often forced into forced labor and prostitution, although some work in workshops along the border.

DOMINO EFFECT ON MILLIONS OF PEOPLE

Fran Witt, Climate Change and Modern Slavery Consultant with the International Anti-Slavery Organization, said: “Our research shows the domino effect of climate change on the lives of millions of people. Extreme weather events contribute to environmental destruction, forcing people to leave their homes, leaving them vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and slavery.

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MORE THAN 216 MILLION PEOPLE ARE AT RISK

The World Bank predicts that by 2050, impacts of the climate crisis such as low crop yields, water scarcity and sea level rise will force more than 216 million people to leave their homes in six regions, including sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America. .

The report is a stern warning to world leaders ahead of the United Nations Cop26 climate summit in Glasgow in November. He urges them to fight climate catastrophe as well as modern slavery. The report says that in the name of rapid economic growth and development, violations of workers’ and immigrant rights are being ignored.

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“The world cannot continue to turn a blind eye to forced labor, modern slavery and human trafficking fueled by climate change,” IIED researcher Ritu Bharadwaj said in a statement. Addressing these issues should be an integral part of global plans to address climate change. “

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