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Human trafficking in North East India

Posted in State

Newmai News Network
KOHIMA, Oct. 11:
The internationally agreed upon definition of trafficking, defined in the United Nations (UN) protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children, states that traffick in persons shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payment or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.
In the North East region of India, trafficking of women and children takes place within the states in the region and other states in India, and also across the borders of Myanmar, Bangladesh and Nepal due to poverty and unemployment, declining traditional economy, militarization and armed conflict, urbanization, migration, displacement, proximity to the international border and influx of security personnel, businessmen and others, according to NGOs devoted to educating vulnerable communities and trying to break down the factors which are enabling human trafficking.
“The problem in the North East is quite distinct from the rest of India. We share many international borders, most of which are open and unmanned. These points provide an easy passage in and out of India for organized human trafficking syndicates to operate undetected.”
This was said by Hasina Kharbhih,  Team Leader of Impulse NGO Network, in an interview with a local newspaper of the region.
People existing below the poverty line, with limited employment opportunities are most vulnerable to human trafficking; but a recent trend has emerged whereby young, educated girls from the North East seeking employment outside their local area have also been caught up in trafficking when these girls are duped/coerced into the commercial sex trade by ill-intentioned employers, said Hasina.
It may be mentioned here that many NGOs and governments have attempted to document the number of cases of trafficking. However, obtaining accurate numbers is difficult because human trafficking is an illegal enterprise. All statistics relating to human trafficking are either estimates or just reflect the number of cases reported, which is ultimately a fraction of the number happening.
 It is mainly thanks to accounts from rescued survivors and interviews with family members that the picture of human trafficking is slowly emerging and being explored gradually but thoroughly in the North Eastern states of India.
Human trafficking in the North East region is a practice that can no longer be ignored, as more and more people become entangled each year in this poorly understood and only recently acknowledged phenomenon. One cannot remain complacent just because one’s near and dear ones have not yet been affected by this despicable trade. Each and every member of the society need to be vigilant about human trafficking in their locale, state and region.

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