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Indian droughts and cyclones fuel trafficking fears for climate migrants

Eco-Business, India, 30 May 2022 - Climate disasters such as droughts are like a “silent poison” in India as a rising number of people end up migrating to survive and risk being trafficked, researchers said on Wednesday.

Migration is a coping strategy for many communities in India in the face of economic woes and extreme weather events, yet this leaves hundreds of thousands of people vulnerable to forced labour or exploitative working conditions, a new report found.

While climate change is worsening poverty and inequality in the country, policymakers have rarely considered it as a driver of human trafficking, said the authors of the research entitled “Climate change, migration and vulnerability to trafficking”.

“Slow onset disasters like drought are taking a particularly disturbing toll,” said Ritu Bharadwaj, senior researcher at the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

“Like a silent poison spreading through communities, they are going unnoticed and unchecked, allowing traffickers to exploit people driven to utter desperation.”

The report found that 2020 was a particularly extreme year, as climate-related hazards - including cyclones and floods - affected nearly 20 million people in India.

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Source: https://www.eco-business.com/news/indian-droughts-and-cyclones-fuel-trafficking-fears-for-climate-migrants/

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