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Another Child Trafficking Racket Busted: Bengaluru Emerges As A Receiver City For The Victims

According to a report released by the Anti-Human Trafficking Units of the States, a total of 4980 victims of human trafficking were rescued from prostitution in 2016 in the country [1] . Amidst the rise of such cases all over India, another raid was done in Bidai, in the outskirts of Bengaluru by Ramanagaram police and NGO officials. 10 girls, most probably of Bangladeshi origin, were rescued during this raid. They were believed to have been brought for prostitution and were allured with promises of good jobs.

The city continues to be a hub for child trafficking, since it serves as the major gateway to the Southwestern states of India. "Bengaluru is a receiver station for child trafficking rings, while the feeder sources are States such as Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand. Most children are being brought in as child labourers and even for prostitution," said Debashmita Chattopadhyay Banerjee, Railway Protection Force (RPF) Bengaluru Divisional Security Commissioner, South Western Railways.

Indian Railways has launched a drive named 'Operation Nanhe Farishte' with the mission of curbing child trafficking through railway stations. When it is impossible to detect thousands of traffickers commuting every day by rail, the staff members are being trained to analyse behavioural patterns of the traffickers and victims. Soon enough, the authorities are planning to set up face-recognition systems to aid in the process of combating human trafficking. "Soon, we'll feed images of traffickers so that cameras can immediately alert staff of their presence in railway stations, said Ms Banerjee, in an interview given to The Hindu.

Karnataka was ranked fifth in India for human trafficking in 2016, with 1012 victims being reported. According to data collected by Anti-Human Trafficking Units of the States, it ranked third in South India. International Justice Mission, an NGO that helps the police in raiding, mentions that 57.65% of all victims were from Odisha, whereas 8.2% were natives of Tamil Nadu.

Ignatius Joseph of the same NGO explains to Bangalore Mirror, "They fall victim to agencies who lure them with money. At reaching a destination, they work for a pittance by being victims to bonded labour. Most of the victims work in brick kilns and poultry farms. We have not found any human trafficking this year."

Bonded trafficking is an oppressive form of forced labour, where, due to a debt or other obligation, the labourer is compelled to face situations like physical violence, sexual abuse and many more. According to the analysis of International Justice Mission, 1091 out of 1580 bonded labourers rescued in Karnataka between 2013 and 2019 has been victims of trafficking.

Karnataka state government has set up anti-human trafficking units to combat this situation and halt the influx of traffic victims who pour in numbers not only from within India, but also from neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Nepal.

The World Day Against Trafficking In Persons is observed globally on every 30 July. This year, UN Secretary-General António Guterres called on the nations to make the world free from human trafficking, "let us reaffirm our commitment to stop criminals from ruthlessly exploiting people for profit and to help victims rebuild their lives."

View Article References
  1. [1] Crime In India. (2016). National Crime Records Bureau, Ministry Of Home Affairs [PDF file]. Retrived from http://ncrb.gov.in/StatPublications/CII/CII2016/pdfs/NEWPDFs/Crime%20in%20India%20-%202016%20Complete%20PDF%20291117.pdf

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