Nepal | October 22, 2020

Indian trafficking cases fall sharply fuelling concern over ‘undetected victims’

Share Now:

MUMBAI: Cases of human trafficking in India have fallen sharply according to new government data, but campaigners warned on Tuesday that the figures may not reflect the full magnitude of the crime.

South Asia, with India at its center, is one of the fastest-growing regions for human trafficking in the world.

Thousands of people – largely poor, rural women and children – are lured to cities each year by traffickers who promise good jobs, but sell them into modern day slavery.

Figures released by India‘s National Crime Records Bureau late on Monday showed around 3,000 human trafficking cases were reported in 2017, a drop of around 60% from just over 8,000 recorded in 2016.

The data on trafficking, usually released annually, is seen as crucial to efforts by charities and organisations to stop the practise.

Campaigners said a drop in trafficking cases was to be expected partly due to increased vigilance spurred by government-backed awareness campaigns.

Campaigner Digvijay Kumar said, though, that traffickers had changed their tactics to circumvent authorities.

“Traffickers have changed their mode of operating, discarding known routes and finding new ones. In many cases, the police are not registering cases under trafficking laws,” said Kumar of anti-trafficking NGO Institute for Development Education and Action.

A spokeswoman for India‘s home affairs ministry said a series of government measures to address the crime of human trafficking had led to the drop in numbers.

Such measures included joint-initiatives by government ministries to stop those profiting from the crime and awareness campaigns to promote increased vigilance at railway stations and bus terminals, she added.

“The success of our awareness programme against trafficking was astounding,” said an official who declined to be named from West Bengal, a common destination for Indian trafficking victims.

Human trafficking in West Bengal plummeted to around 350 cases in 2017 from over 3,500 in 2016, according to the data, released on Monday after a delay of over a year.

The figures are broadly consistent with the findings of anti-slavery group Walk Free Foundation that reduced its estimate of enslaved people in India from 18 million in 2016 to eight million in 2017.

Campaigners said that estimates of the scale of human trafficking in India should incorporate data on missing children as kidnapped persons.

Saji Philip of anti-trafficking charity International Justice Mission said many cases could be going undetected because traffickers increasingly operate online.

Follow The Himalayan Times on Twitter and Facebook

Recommended Stories:

More from The Himalayan Times:

Seven persons made public for murdering two police personnel in Kailali

DHANGADHI: Police have charged seven persons in connection with murder of two police personnel in Kailali district, on Tuesday. They were apprehended for murdering Assistant Sub Inspector (ASI) Govinda BK, In-charge of Jugeda temporary police beat, and police constable Ram Bahadur Saud. Polic Read More...

Pictures: Bouddhanath, which is usually overwhelmed by spectators, becomes one as an aircraft flies by

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 21 An aircraft is pictured against the backdrop of Bouddhanath Stupa, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as it takes off from Tribhuvan International Airport in Kathmandu on Tuesday. The Stupa was overwhelmed with spectators during pre-Covid times. Seen in another picture are two Read More...

US spacecraft touches asteroid surface for rare rubble grab

CAPE CANAVERAL: A NASA spacecraft descended to an asteroid Tuesday and, dodging boulders the size of buildings, momentarily touched the surface to collect a handful of cosmic rubble for return to Earth. It was a first for the United States — only Japan has scored asteroid samples. “Tou Read More...

Harry and Meghan decry 'crisis of hate' in social media

LOS ANGELES: Britain’s Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, spoke on Tuesday about their campaign against social media negativity, with Harry warning of a “global crisis of hate” that was affecting people’s mental health. The couple, known officially as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, led an Read More...

No-confidence motion against Karnali chief minister to be withdrawn

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 20 Co-chairs of the ruling Nepal Communist Party (NCP) KP Sharma Oli and Pushpa Kamal Dahal today reached a four-point deal to settle intra-party dispute in Karnali Province which resulted in a no-trust motion against Chief Minister Mahendra Bahadur Shahi. According to Oli Read More...

UK to infect healthy volunteers in vaccine research trial

LONDON: Danica Marcos wants to be infected with COVID-19. While other people are wearing masks and staying home to avoid the disease, the 22-year-old Londoner has volunteered to contract the new coronavirus as part of a controversial study that hopes to speed development of a vaccine. Marcos a Read More...

Govt told to respect citizens’ right to health services

KATHMANDU, OCTOBER 20 The National Human Rights Commission has taken a serious note of the decision of the Government of Nepal to deny free medical treatment to COVID-19 patients and to hold concerned families responsible for managing the bodies of their members, who succumbed to the contagion. Read More...

Rashford strikes late as United sink PSG again

PARIS: Manchester United got their Champions League campaign underway in emphatic style when Marcus Rashford's late goal earned them a 2-1 victory at Paris St Germain on Tuesday, handing the French champions their first group-stage home defeat in 16 years. Rashford netted three minutes Read More...