The development of new and improved transport routes can bring about dramatic changes for local communities. Many of these changes are positive. Improved access to markets, facilities and services can provide a wide range of benefits and opportunities at both local and national levels, ranging from increased economic development to improved education and healthcare.
At the same time, the changes brought about by transport projects and related developments can create negative impacts for some groups. This is particularly true in the short-term, where the often rapid nature of change provides severe challenges for traditional community coping mechanisms. Previously remote and isolated areas, and those with minority ethnic populations, can be particularly strongly affected. Road development projects have been shown to provide fertile ground for HIV/AIDS and, increasingly, for human traffickers. Human traffickers throughout the world have shown the ability to capitalise on new opportunities afforded in times of change, whether this is in the development of new routes along which to move victims, or an increase in vulnerability faced by those losing out in the change process.
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