HUMAN TRAFFICKING NEWS IS A SHAKTI VAHINI NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH DESK INITIATIVE
State home commissioner J. Alam said that human trafficking was “gigantic in proportion” and opined that inadequate knowledge about the issue presented inadequate response from law enforcing officers to tackle the menace.
He was speaking as chief guest at a seminar on trafficking programme for mid-career interaction between civil service officers and armed forces at Hotel Japfü, Kohima Thursday. Alam pointed out various specific laws governing trafficking related crimes and maintained that more awareness and facilities were needed to deal with them.
He said human trafficking in Nagaland was not seen as a serious matter as missing cases were not filed as trafficking cases. He also claimed that around 20-25 percent of missing person cases were mostly children out of which 2/3 go untraced. At the national level, he said the CBI constantly kept data and tracked the issue, and at state levels, additional SPs were designated as nodal officers for trafficking crimes at each district.
He appreciated the Administrative Training Institute (ATI) for organizing the programme which provided an opportunity to civil and officers of the armed forces to get together to address a social threat. He also highlighted that the basic purpose of such discourse was to provide a common platform for armed forces officers and civil services officers to share experiences and learn from each other so as to form new perspectives for their own benefit and for the general public.
Pointing out that there were certain age-old guidelines governing interaction between civil administration and the military which needed to be deliberated and introspected on, Alam further urged officers of both organizations to do away with looking on each other as “the others”.
Also speaking at the seminar on human trafficking, SP Tuensang Roopa said Nagaland has become a transit route for human trafficking especially women and children who were being transported from neighboring states to other parts of India.
Roopa said that though human trafficking in Nagaland existed mainly “inward” in the form of domestic help particularly employed by the richer sections of the society, the issue bore a bigger brunt along the borders with adjoining states.
She pointed out that primary causes of human trafficking in Nagaland were unemployment, lack of income, lack of quality education, rise in phony organizations particularly in the interior parts of the state with false promises of providing people with employment or education, or in case of girls, on pretext of false marriages etc.
Lamenting on statistics which indicate that police files do not say much about the issue as cases were not usually reported to the police, Roopa said it was only through media reports that prevalence of human trafficking in the state was ascertained. She also pointed out that there was lack of coordination in tackling the issue by the administration, police and other law enforcing agencies, adding, the need of the hour was a proper implementation of laws dealing with child labour and trafficking crimes.
Prodigals Home Dimapur director K. Ela, termed human trafficking as a “modern day slavery” affecting the most vulnerable sections of the Naga society- women and children. She said human trafficking was considered as the third biggest illegal and lucrative trade worldwide after drugs and arms with at least 2 million people reportedly being trafficked annually, and among that, 18,000-20,000 women and children were supposedly trafficked in India each year.
Ela also said that NE women and children have become an easy target in this social menace, but added that the central and state governments in view of the severeness of the issue were putting up numerous efforts to tackle the issue. She also informed that various steps were being initiated to combat anti-trafficking in Nagaland as well.
The programme was attended by officers from different sections of the Indian armed forces stationed at various military bases including Dimapur, Jakhama, Rangapahar, Jorhat, Arunachal Pradesh, Shillong, Tezpur, Karnataka, Vishakhapatnam and Kochi; while civil services officers came from Dimapur, Shillong and Kohima, including DC Kohima Beiu Angami.
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