Natural Disasters Impact Human Trafficking

Written by Mitchell Waters, SLC Volunteer

Saying that our country has had a difficult time lately would be an understatement. Hurricanes Irma and Harvey severely damaged much of Florida and Houston, wild fires have burned nearly a million acres of the forest in Montana. California, Washington, and wildfires have consumed precious pieces of land in Idaho as well.

With these tragedies and natural disasters occurring in our own back yard, it is important to understand how they impact human trafficking. Often times, in the aftermath of war, natural disasters, or major economic transitions, human traffickers can more easily exploit victims. They take advantage of shattered lives, ruined homes and broken economies. Joshua Finn, an analyst at the Canadian Department of Transportation wrote, “The added shock of a natural disaster to an already vulnerable population can lead to an environment where human traffickers are more likely to be profitable. This is important to be aware of as our nation begins to clean up the aftermath of these disasters.” (2016)

Second Life Chattanooga’s mission is to “create awareness that drives action through collaborative relationships with like-minded organizations and individuals in order to end human sex trafficking in Greater Chattanooga/Southeast Tennessee.” By raising awareness about how traffickers exploit already vulnerable areas after a natural disaster, we aim to shore up our defenses in Tennessee.



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