SILCHAR, Jan 23: Women’s College Silchar in association with Ashwas, a local NGO, organized a programme to raise awareness about the grave issue of human trafficking in the auditorium of the college today. Prero Sharma, assistant commissioner of Cachar, was the chief-guest on the occasion. Speaking on the occasion, Sharma said human trafficking is the illegal trade of human beings, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery and prostitution, forced labour by the traffickers. “This heinous crime can occur within a country or even trans-tiolly. It is a violation of the victims’ human rights. Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing crimes of trans-tiol crimil organizations. Not only women but also children are its victims. Girls are illegally trafficked to other parts of the country and even abroad by crimil syndicates,” she said. Sharma identified lack of awareness and absence of academic and job opportunities as the prime reasons behind the steady rise of human trafficking in the region. She said more awareness should be undertaken in this regard by the society. Sharma cautioned the gathering that while applying for jobs, the youth particularly the girls should verify the employer’s credentials. Nilotpal Choudhury, executive director of Dainik Jugasankha group, said lack of economic empowerment is the biggest issue plaguing the society particularly the women who should be empowered both intellectually and fincially. He further said human beings are not meant to be treated as commodities but the traffickers treat them as products. Social activist Samarkanti Roy Choudhury said human trafficking is nothing but modern day slavery and the northeast region is particularly very vulnerable to such inhuman crime. Principal Manoj Kumar Paul said as per the United tions Organization, human trafficking is the third largest crime globally. Paul further said that the valley due to its strategic location is being used as a safe route by the crimils. “Each year, large numbers of people are illegally trafficked in the country. Not just slavery, even the body parts of the victims are illegally sold by the traffickers,” he said.