GUWAHATI, July 31: “Poverty, lack of awareness and unsafe migration were the main causes of trafficking of women and children for forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation,” said Dr Sunita Changkakoti, Chairperson Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR). She said this while attending an ‘Interactive Group Discussion of Stakeholders’ on World Day Against Trafficking in Person with special focus on children in Guwahati on Tuesday. The event was organized by the ASCPCR with support from the British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata.
Speaking on the occasion, Deputy Head of Mission of the British Deputy High Commission, Kolkata Shahida Khan mentioned that human trafficking was a global problem affecting all countries including UK. Almost every country in the world was affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims.
Shahida added that there are 10 to 13000 victims in the UK alone. “In response the UK has developed extensive knowledge and expertise over the years through developing strategy and subsequent landmark legislation (Modern Slavery Act 2015)”, she said. During the programme, a documentary film, ‘Taken’ on trafficking was screened at the event highlighting the causes and effect of problems of survivors. Notably, Assam has been identified as a transit point and destination for trafficking in person. The state is particularly vulnerable because of its border with Bangladesh and Bhutan. The highly vulnerable trafficking zones in the state include the tea garden areas in upper Assam and places like Sonitpur, Morigaon, Udalguri, Kamrup (M) and Hojai. The event marked participation from the state social welfare department, state legal authority, several NGOs, academics, members from Childline and the state police.