The combined effects of climate change and extreme poverty make it easier to lure women and children into forced prostitution, marriage, and labor. Trafficking in this part of northeastern India’s West Bengal has gotten so bad, the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reports a 25-fold increase in missing women and children since 2001. It’s the worst rate in the country.
I visited a small village called Dholkhali a few miles from India’s watery eastern border with Bangladesh. Life here has always been a struggle.
But now constant flooding from rising seas is making things much worse.
“They are at the mercy of God, mercy of environment, or you can say climate,” says Save the Children India’s Sunil Banra.