Goranbose Gram Bikash Kendra, an NGO working at the grassroots in the Sundarbans region of West Bengal to prevent, rescue and rehabilitate victims of human trafficking, has a separate wing working on climate change. It’s unusual for NGOs engaged in anti-human trafficking activities to focus on issues related to environment. But the two coalesce in the Sundarbans, an ecologically sensitive and densely populated region, prompting the NGO to link cause with effect—the impact of climate change has started affecting livelihood, resulting in migration and human trafficking.
“Climate change has had a direct impact on displacement, local agricultural and fish produce, affecting livelihood, prompting work-related migration and creating a conducive atmosphere for the perpetuation of human trafficking,” says Nihar Ranjan Raptan, who heads Goranbose Gram Bikash Kendra. To effectively design measures to prevent human trafficking, he says, the issue of climate change needs to be addressed first.