Bordering districts in lower Assam & Barak valley worst affected, prostitution rings trafficking girls to brothels in distant cities
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, April 12: It is the worst possible nightmare for parents and guardians while a lucrative trade for crimils. Human trafficking is the third largest profitable industry in the world with India a major hotspot. Within the country, Assam has become a prime sourcing area from where women and children are being trafficked to different parts of the country and abroad. Such incidents of trafficking have risen manifold in the last few years.
Trafficked women and children are mostly forced into prostitution, tricked or coerced into marriage, illegally adopted, used as cheap or unpaid labour and for other illegal activities. Some children are recruited by militant outfits, mostly based in the Northeastern region. Trafficking exposes children to neglect, abuse, violence and exploitation.
According to UNICEF, a child victim of trafficking is “any person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country”.
According to NGOs working against child trafficking, Assam has become an important sourcing area in the country for trapping and trafficking children to cities like Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore for domestic labour.
In an incident on Saturday, the Border Security Force (BSF) at Gachpara border outpost in Dhubri district rescued a minor boy from the clutches of suspected human traffickers in a village near the Bangladesh border.
The intelligence wing of the BSF based at Dhubri, one of the hotspots for human trafficking in the State, was tipped off about the presence of a kidpped minor in the house of one Kismat Ali, located near the intertiol boundary. It was also learnt that the minor boy, identified as Runi, was kidpped from his Fulbari village in Dhubri district by an alleged human trafficker Moinuddin, who was supposed to take the kidpped boy to Bangladesh.
However, the BSF failed to b Moinuddin and Kismat. BSF sources said that Moinuddin is involved in several crimil activities in the area.
The rescued child, who was later handed over to the local police, said his parents are working in a brick kiln in Dhubri district.
Manumati Barman, superintendent of GOLD, an NGO working against child trafficking, said, “Incidents of child trafficking are very high in the intertiol border areas of Dhubri district. We have rescued many such trafficked children and women in the district in the past. People living in the border areas of Dhubri are very poor and easy targets for traffickers. Agents working for these human trafficking groups are placed at both sides of the border for smooth operation,” adding, “Awareness among the local people is a must to deal with this problem. Police and local administration must play an active role to curb incidents of human trafficking in this border district.”
Barman further said, “Assam being landlocked is vulnerable to trafficking and is increasingly being recognized as one of the major source, transit and destition states, needing urgent attention to combat trafficking and commercial exploitation of women and children”.
Over the years, trafficking networks have become well-entrenched in Assam, with girls being trafficked to brothels in Delhi, Mumbai, gpur, Pune, Kolkata, Siliguri, Chappra and other red light areas in Bihar and West Bengal. In Assam, the districts worst affected by child trafficking are Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Barpeta, Bongaigaon, lbari, Kamrup rural, the Barak Valley districts as well as Guwahati.