Human Trafficking: the environmental refugees
Following recent climate disasters, Hurricanes Harvey and Irma and the earthquake in Mexico, members of the U.S. Catholic Sisters Against Human Trafficking believed it would be helpful to share a module entitled “Human Trafficking and Environmental Refugees”.
A brief excerpt from the module states: “In June 2014, the number of refugees worldwide exceeded 50 million children, women and men. Half of these refugees are children, many traveling alone or in groups. Millions of these refugees are people displaced because of environmental disasters. Moreover, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change notes that in the coming years millions of people will be forced to relocate due to effects of climate change, including shoreline erosion, coastal flooding or disruption of normal farming practices.Today analysts predict that this crisis in the making will affect 150-200 million men, women and children by 2050, or roughly one in every 45 persons on earth…
Women and children are especially vulnerable during any forced displacement, and they are at risk for gender-based violence and human trafficking. Many children are separated from their families during an environmental disaster. According to the UNHCR, children alone represent more than half of the people of concern. These children, unaccompanied by any adult or caregiver, are targets for traffickers. Two months after Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, aid agencies warned that up to two million children were at risk of abuse or trafficking.