This morning, areas of Türkiye and Syria were hit by two earthquakes. At the time of writing, an estimated 1000 people are reported to have lost their lives and the death toll is expected to continue rising.
In addition, the area near the first earthquake’s epicentre – specifically the Turkish provinces of Gaziantep and Kahramanmaras – is home to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees.
At STOP THE TRAFFIK, we stand alongside the people of Türkiye and Syria, as well as the many disaster relief organisations who will be responding to the emergency.
Natural disasters such as this create displacement and increase the potential for exploitation in the wake of the event itself, as traffickers seek to take advantage of the situation.
As Türkiye responds to this disaster, we must remember that recovery comes in two phases – the response itself and the protection of vulnerable people.
We have been working alongside on-the-ground NGOs in the region for many years during our Aman Safety programme campaign, which aims to prevent trafficking of refugees and asylum seekers as they seek safety.
As part of this, we have supported individuals from countries including Syria, signposting people to support organisations so they can access essential services.
We will continue to work closely with these organisations and individuals as the crisis unfolds, gathering intelligence and providing vulnerable people with the information they need to stay safe.