Spurt in human trafficking cases in State

R Dutta Choudhury
 GUWAHATI, April 30 – Human trafficking has become a major cause of concern for Assam and in 2015, the State has the dubious record of most number of persons trafficked among all the States of the country. On the other hand, child trafficking has also become a major cause of concern as according to records available, more than 6,000 children are still reported missing.

Highly placed official sources told The Assam Tribune that the police alone cannot prevent human trafficking and there must be concerted efforts by all the concerned departments including Labour, Social Welfare, Panchayats and the society as a whole to prevent this menace.

Sources revealed that during the period from 2011 to January this year, more than 760 cases involving 1035 victims of human trafficking were recorded in the State, of whom 634 victims were rescued, while more than 590 persons were arrested. The disturbing fact is that the number of cases registered is increasing steadily over the years as from 54 cases registered in 2011, the number gradually increased to 170 in 2015 and to 212 last year. As many as 22 cases were registered in the month of January this year.

In the year 2015, Assam topped the list of the persons trafficked among all the States of the country, followed by West Bengal, Tamil Nadu, Telangana and Karnataka. The most vulnerable districts of Assam include Sonitpur, Kokrajhar, Kamrup (Rural), Nalbari, Tinsukia and Dhubri. The poorest sections of the society fell easy prey to the criminals involved in human trafficking, while, there have been instances where the persons displaced by ethnic clashes also became easy victims of the criminals.

Sources revealed that 14 anti-human trafficking units have been set up in the State to deal with the problem, while, the Railway police force has also been sensitized to deal with human trafficking. The Railway police managed to arrest several gangs involved in the act , which led to the rescue of a number of victims, particularly in Rangiya and Bongaigaon Railway stations. But sources admitted that the measures taken so far are still not adequate and there is need for concerted efforts by all the concerned departments. The relevant laws should also be implemented strictly to deal with the problem.

Sources pointed out that strict implementation of the Inter-State Migrant Workmen’s Act of 1979 can deal with the problem to a great extent as under the provision of the Act, the organizations taking out people from the state to work outside need to register themselves and details of the persons taken out to work outside should be provided along with the places where they will be engaged. But as the Act is not strictly implemented, the persons taken out of the state with assurance of providing jobs in other places of the country can be duped and the Government does not have any record of such persons. The Assam Police has already written to the Labour Department to ensure strict implementation of the Act as this can check human trafficking by a great extent.

Similarly, implementations of other acts like the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, Child Labour Prohibition Act, Domestic Workers Act, etc., can also help in checking human trafficking.

Moreover, shortage of shelter homes for the rescued persons and lack of adequate facilities for their rehabilitation also lead to problem as in some cases, the persons rescued cannot go back home because of social taboo and the Government will have to think of measures for their proper rehabilitation.

Source : http://assamtribune.com