Earthquakes are a natural phenomenon that occur due to the movement of tectonic plates within the Earth’s crust, and as a result, contribute to a threat to life, significant damage to communities and affect the lives of millions of people. Recent events have highlighted a growing concern around the relationship between earthquakes and climate change.
Whilst they are not directly caused by climate change, there is evidence to suggest that there are links. Our climate impacts the behaviour of the Earth’s crust in several ways. For example, changes in temperature and rainfall patterns can alter the water content of soil and rocks, and we are already seeing the intensity of hurricanes and adverse weather events increase. Alterations in soil and rocks increases the stress levels within the crust, contributing to more movement in the plates.
Turkey and Syria are currently suffering an overwhelming loss of life due to the catastrophic and destructive 7.8 magnitude earthquake that has killed over 41,000 people (a number that sadly continues to rise). The event has added further strain to the region with Syria currently going through a civil war.
Furthermore, there will be a significant impact on all those individuals and families displaced from their homes and communities, let alone separated from loved ones.
Displacement can create conditions that make people extremely vulnerable to modern slavery and human trafficking.
- They may be forced to take on jobs that they would not have considered before the earthquake, just to survive and make money.
- They are likely to be targeted by human traffickers who are looking for vulnerable individuals to exploit.
- The breakdown of social structures and support networks can leave them without the protection of their community.
There are a number of steps that need be taken to help prevent modern slavery and human trafficking in the aftermath of a such a destructive event, and businesses should be prepared:
- Education and awareness campaigns must support people in understanding the risks of modern slavery and human trafficking within their business. This can include information about how to spot the signs of exploitation and how to protect themselves from traffickers.
- Understanding and addressing the root causes of modern slavery, including poverty, inequality and discrimination. By working to create an equal society and economies, we can prevent conditions that make people vulnerable to exploitation.
- Continuing to carry out effective due diligence on your suppliers and understanding the employment checks they have in their processes
In conclusion, not only is there a link but we need to consider the ongoing impacts of the aftermath of such an event. It is essential that we take steps to protect displaced people and prevent exploitation in the wake of these disasters. By working together, we can build more resilient communities that are better equipped to withstand the challenges and threats that go hand in hand with natural disasters like these.
Should your business need help understanding what you can do in the future to ensure you are acting more responsibly and having a greater social impact, then contact us at email@example.com for more information or a brief chat.