climate change deepens human trafficking crisis in sierra leone
Last updated on January 30th, 2024 at 05:54 am
Zainab is a survivor of human trafficking in Sierra Leone who played a very important role in operations to expose and catch human traffickers. This operation was happening with the Transnational Organized Crime Unit. She helps them to bring these criminals to justice.
Human Trafficking Issue in Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone faces a severe human trafficking problem, where individuals are deceived with promises of better opportunities abroad. With almost 60% youth unemployment and the majority of the population surviving on less than a day, traffickers exploit the vulnerable who aspire for a brighter future overseas, particularly women.
Lured by False Promises
Traffickers often lure victims with the promise of well-paying jobs in the Middle East, such as nannies, hairdressers, maids, or shop assistants. However, upon reaching their destination, victims find themselves trapped, with passports confiscated, forced into unpaid labor and subjected to sexual abuse.
Climate Change Aggravates Human Trafficking
Sierra Leone’s vulnerability to climate change, despite its minimal contribution to global carbon emissions, is exacerbating the human trafficking crisis. Rising sea and worse flood situation force people to move from their homes for better future opportunities. They have to leave their houses because of climate change.
Escaping Natural Disasters Leads to Trafficking
Sheku Bangura, leading the Advocacy Network Against Irregular Migration, notes a “serious increase” in trafficking cases following the destruction of homes by floods and mudslides. Displaced individuals, seeking refuge after natural disasters, become easy targets for traffickers offering false promises.
Flash Floods and Human Tragedy
Sierra Leone’s vulnerability to climate change is evident in the frequent flash floods. These disasters takes so many lives and destroy homes. These climate disasters also became a reason for the alarming increase in human trafficking cases. The destruction of homes pushes individuals into the hands of traffickers,
Urgent Action Needed
Sierra Leone is dealing with two big problems: climate change and human trafficking. We need to do something about it quickly. We must make our laws stronger, help the police catch the bad guys, tell people about these issues, and support those who have been hurt by trafficking. By doing these things, we can stop the cycle of exploitation and make sure Sierra Leone becomes a safer and stronger place for everyone.