Girls remain most vulnerable targets

The bride-buying business that amounts to trafficking is burgeoning in the state where numerous girls from West Bengal were sold for sexual abuse. Even though an NCRB report claims that there is zero incident on trafficking in the Valley, the reality on the ground portrays a quite different picture, writes SAFINA NABI

Tamanna (17) and Hafiza (16) are residents of 24 South Parganas, Kolkata from the state of West Bengal. The girls were sold to two Kashmiri men, much older than them for an amount of 25,000 each. Both the men are from Tujan area of district Pulwama, around 40-km away from the main city of Srinagar, in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

The girls’ parents are daily wage labourers who live in a slum under extremely poor condition. On top of that, supporting a family of seven members isn’t easy at all.

One day, the parents decided to marry off Tamanna and her sister in Kashmir after an agent Shubnam persuaded them that their daughters could lead a comfortable life and they too can earn some money in return.

Soon, these men from Kashmir got in touch with this family from Bengal through Shubnam, a native of Bengal. The sisters were informed by the family that their marriages have been fixed and both of them will be travelling to Kashmir with their husbands. The marriage happened in an informal set-up. The Nikhnama (marriage contract) was signed and both the sisters were given a small amount of money as ‘Mahr’ (alimony) for namesake.

The assurance of wealthy family, healthy lifestyle-two meals a day, and decent clothes to wear was more than everything for the girls and the family to fall into the trap. Soon, they arrived in Kashmir via Bengal-Delhi-Jammu route. Once they reached Tujan, Pulwama, their world turned upside down. The girls were kept in horrific conditions where husbands would rape them through the hours of darkness and family members would make them do all the household chores throughout the day. They were deprived of proper food and kept indoors to avoid contact with outside world. Nevertheless, the girls were in different families but experiencing a similar life of horror. The sisters were restrained to get in touch with each other.

The Escape

One day in early morning, the younger sister, Hafiza, escaped the house barefoot. Luckily, she saved the money that she received as ‘Mahr’ to use when the right time comes.

Hafiza narrated, “I was praying hard that my attempt to escape should not fail… Had I been caught, I would have been beaten to death.”

After escaping from Kashmir she managed to reach Bengal. There she met a journalist, who happened to work in Kashmir. Hafiza then narrated her ordeal and revealed the details about her sister too. The journalist contacted a Kashmir-based local NGO and informed them about the case. The NGO with the help of police started a robust investigation and finally, they were successful in tracing out Tamanna.

Today, Tamanna is living with a local family in Kashmir who came to support her. They wish to become her legal guardians now.

On May 22, 2018, Tamanna appeared before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC).

Explaining Tamanna’s situation, CWC Chairperson, Munazah said, “Tamanna wishes not to go back to her hometown neither she wants to stay in a child home. The report has been sent to the CWC, Pulwama for further investigation. Once the report comes, we will be able to decide how to take forward the case.

On the other hand, the man who bought Tamanna is now pressurising her parents to ask her to return. Her parents are now trying to persuade Tamanna to go back as she has been married to him. Although she has been rescued, no FIR has been registered against the husband’s family.

Deputy Superintendent of Police Farooq Ahmad said: “Although we are investigating the case and rescued her on the NGO’s request, but,we cannot register an FIR as she has signed the Nikahnama. Also, the trafficker has provided it as a proof of marriage.”

“During the course of the investigation, we came to a conclusion that Tamanna needs to be handed over to the NGO as the girl is a minor. She was not only married out of her wish but was also kept in an appalling circumstances,” Ahmad further explained.

Here, Hafiza is back to her home but torment has not increased. In a muffled voice, Hafiza shared, “My parents beat me continuously. They ask me, ‘why did you run away? Why did you come back? They have paid us money?’”

“What can a girl like me do apart from weeping in silence?” Hafiza added.

In the case of her agent Shubnam, she too has a similar past- trafficked to Kashmir where she was married-off to a Kashmiri family. However, she soon got separated from her husband, went back to her hometown in Bengal and married a local. Shubnam then stepped in to the business of human trade- buying and sending girls to Kashmir under the garb of employment-giver, match-maker. Being a local of Bengal, it was a cake-walk for Shubnam to target girls from poor and under-privileged families, luring them with a promise of good job, high-end lifestyle or by deceptively buying them from their families.

Bride-buying common in the Valley

The horrific brutality inflicted on these teenagers is not an isolated case. Going by some information, there are more 20 to 25 women from Bengal and other parts of mainland India who have been married-off to Kashmiri men. The kinds of grooms are those men who did not find any match in Kashmir, belong to below poverty line families or are disabled. In such situation, Kashmiri men buy brides from pimps who usually smuggle girls from West Bengal or other parts of India.

In a similar incident, twelve years ago, Naseema, 29, (now a mother of three) was forcefully married off to a Kashmiri truck driver by her parents for some amount. Today, she lives in a dilapidated house at Pampore, Pulwama, where, altogether, a total of eight members live in a tiny two-room house that serves as both kitchen and bedroom. Naseema, too, is a native of Bengal and was trafficked to Jammu and Kashmir as a bride. Her husband is a habitual drinker and largely spent all his earnings on liquor and drugs.

“I do not wish to see my parents or go back to them. They married me off to a person who was double the age of mine and sent me to a place about which I knew nothing, not even the language,” Naseema said.

Human trafficking is a $32 billion industry worldwide and agents like Shabnum are making a flourishing business by buying and selling girls to Kashmiri men who cannot find a match in the Valley.

India’s West Bengal state – which shares a porous border with Bangladesh and Nepal, is one of the hubs of human trafficking. There is a stout human trafficking connection between West Bengal and Kashmir, where families need brides for their sons who are either disabled or do not find local match to marry off their sons.

There is no check on the illegal buying and selling of young girls brought into the Valley as domestic workers and later sold as brides, neither there is any policy in place. Hence, this business is thriving with every passing day.

According to the latest (2016-2017) data by National Crime Record Bureau, there are zero cases of trafficking reported in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

“We are not able to do anything until and unless a case will not be reported to us. There are agencies registered with us who supply domestic helpers to families in Srinagar and other parts of the state but, till now, no complaint of trafficking has been reported to us,” said Deputy Superintendent Farooq Ahmad.

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Project Swayangsiddha to combat human trafficking, prevent child marriage

IMG_5246West Bengal Police has come up with a project, Swayangsiddha, to combat human trafficking and prevent child marriage. Swayangsiddha’ means ‘self-reliant’. The project envisions empowering young girls and boys, with knowledge and skills so that they are aware, alert, able to make informed choices and are less vulnerable to violation and abuse of their rights.

Swayangsiddha Groups have been formed in schools and colleges with interested students. These groups were formed with students between the ages of 12 and 21 years. The State Government’s Child Protection Committees are monitoring and guiding these groups. In all, 3,862 students have come forward to form the Swayangsiddha Groups, of which 69 per cent are girls and the rest 31 per cent are boys. They are sharing information on human trafficking, child rights, ill effects of child marriage and the important helpline numbers with other students and their neighborhoods. Schools have identified 200 teachers as mentors.

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Part of the project is strengthening the response mechanism to acts of violation of rights in collaboration with police and child protection committees to build safe communities.Strengthening access to schemes and entitlements on education, training, livelihood and food security for vulnerable groups is also an important part of Swayangsiddha.

In this respect, it needs to be mentioned that the internationally-hailed scheme, Kanyashree, a brainchild of Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, does provide help in some of these areas to schoolgirls across the state. Kanyashree Clubs have been opened in various places. Now, with Swayangsiddha, those efforts are being strengthened and a wider range of issues are being addressed.

The Project is a brainchild of Shri Chandrashekhar Bardhan Additional SP of Diamond Harbour who initiated this project in 2015.

“The information which has been generated from the Swayangsiddha campaign has also led to the busting of several interstate trafficking gangs said Rishi Kant of Shakti Vahini”. He added that the campaign has had a very positive impact and has also led to mass awareness on the issue.

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मानव तस्करी के दो फीसद मामलों में भी सजा नहीं दिला पाती पुलिस

Dainik Jagran Hindi News

मानव तस्करी के लिए बदनाम झारखंड में पुलिस की अक्षमता के कारण तस्कर आजाद हैं। दो फीसद मामलों में भी पुलिस अदालतों में साक्ष्य पेश नहीं कर पाती। नतीजतन गिरफ्तारी के बावजूद आरोपित अदालत से छूट जाते हैं। गुमला कोढ़ में खाज की तरह है। प्रदेश की तुलना में लगभग पचास फीसद मामले इसी जिले से जुड़े हैं। चौंकाने वाला आंकड़ा यह भी है कि अब तक तस्करी में जितने पुरुष गिरफ्तार किए गए उनकी तुलना में करीब पचास फीसद महिलाएं भी गिरफ्तार हुई हैं। नाबालिगों को बड़े शहरों में बंधक बनाकर प्रताडि़त करने, दुष्कर्म और उनकी हत्या के मामले आए दिन आते रहते हैं। इसके बावजूद यहां के आदिवासी बहुल इलाकों में गरीबी और बेबसी तस्करों के लिए उर्वरक का काम करते हैं। गुमला, सिमडेगा और खूंटी उर्वर भूमि है। छुड़ाकर लाए गए लोगों के पुनर्वास की मुकम्मल व्यवस्था नहीं होने का नतीजा है कि कुछ मामलों में बच्चे दुबारा इसी कतार में शामिल हो जाते हैं। तस्करी का शिकार एक एक नाबालिग पूरा दर्दनाक किस्सा है।

सीआइडी के पास मौजूद आकड़ों के मुताबिक पिछले पांच वर्षो में मानव तस्करी के 395 मामले दर्ज किए गए। इनमें 152 पुरुष और 74 महिलाओं सहित कुल 226 तस्करों को गिरफ्तार किया गया। शर्मनाक स्थिति यह कि महज छह-सात मामलों में ही पुलिस दोषियों को सजा दिला पाई है। अन्य जमानत पर छूट गए या साक्ष्य के अभाव में बरी हो गए। छूटने के बाद भी ये तस्कर मानव तस्करी के धंधे में लगे हैं। राज्य में महज नौ एएचटीयू :

मानव तस्करी पर अंकुश लगाने के लिए राज्य में वर्ष 2011 में एंटी ह्यूमन ट्रैफिकिंग यूनिट (एएचटीयू) का गठन किया गया था। राज्य में 24 जिले हैं मगर सिर्फ नौ मे एएचटीयू का गठन किया गया। गुमला नगर थाना, सिमडेगा नगर थाना, खूंटी नगर थाना, दुमका नगर थाना, राची कोतवाली थाना, पश्चिमी सिंहभूम के चाईबासा सदर थाना, लोहरदगा सदर थाना व पलामू सदर थाने में एएचटीयू का गठन हुआ। नतीजा है कि कई यूनिट मे समीप के जिलों के मामले दर्ज किए जा रहे हैं।

रेस्क्यू पीड़ितों के लिए पुनर्वास की व्यवस्था नहीं :

रेस्क्यू कर लाई गई नाबालिग व बालिग लड़कियों के पुनर्वास, मॉनीट¨रग की उचित व्यवस्था नहीं है। मजबूरन वह दोबारा इस दलदल में उतरने को मजबूर हो जाती हैं। वर्ष 2012 में पंचायत सचिव को गाव से बाहर कमाने जानेवालों के रजिस्ट्रेशन करने का निर्देश दिया गया था। मगर हो नहीं रहा।

ये हैं राज्य के कुख्यात तस्कर :

राज्य के बड़े मानव तस्करों के रूप में पन्ना लाल, बाबा बामदेव, रोहित मुनी, प्रभा मुनि, सुरेश साहू, गायत्री साहू, पवन साहू व लता लकड़ा जैसे कई नाम कुख्यात हैं।

किस जिले में कितनी प्राथमिकी :

गुमला 186

खूंटी 50

दुमका 12

सिमडेगा 71

राची 11

चाईबासा 26

लोहरदगा 33

पलामू 01

कहां से कितनी गिरफ्तारी :

गुमला 59

खूंटी 31

दुमका 08

सिमडेगा 43

राची 04

चाईबासा 06

लोहरदगा 21

पलामू 02

‘पुलिस मामले दर्ज करती है, आरोपितों को गिरफ्तार करती है। लेकिन पीड़ितों और परिजनों की ओर से कोर्ट में मजबूती से सामना नहीं किया जाता। इस वजह से दोषी बच निकलते हैं। पुलिस बेहतर साक्ष्य प्रस्तुत कर सजा दिलाने का प्रयास करती है।’

:: प्रशांत सिंह, एडीजी, सीआइडी।

 

Forced labour: Assam girl rescued from Kingsway Camp

Millennium Post

Forced labour: Assam girl rescued from Kingsway Camp

A 14-year-old girl from Assam, who was forced to work as a domestic help, has been rescued from north west Delhi’s Kingsway Camp, Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) said on Sunday – making it the third time this week that a girl was rescued from forced labour. The Commission said that it received information about the case from a phone call, immediately after which a DCW team along with Delhi Police reached the stated address and found the child working there.

“The girl was rescued and also counselled. She informed the Commission that her father had passed away when she was very small, after which her mother remarried and the two began living with the stepfather,” a DCW official said. The official further said that the girl claimed to have requested her cousin for a job in Delhi. The cousin knew a family, where she soon started working for Rs 5,000 per month from February 2017. However, till now, she had only been paid Rs 12,000 till now and even that money was given to her cousin. The owner of the house where the girl was working deals in auto parts.

After her rescue, the girl was sent to a shelter home to stay the night, and she was produced before the child welfare committee (CWC) the next morning. The CWC ordered police to register an FIR and also ordered an ossification test. A case was registered under sections 75, 76, 3, 14 and 16 of the Juvenile Justice Act.

DCW chief Swati Maliwal, on Sunday tweeted, “14 year old Assamese girl rescued by DCW. She was forced to work as domestic help by a plush family in Delhi. This is third such rescue this week by DCW. Earlier, 2 girls from Jharkhand were rescued by us. Delhi has become a hub of human trafficking. This needs to be curbed!” She further said that young girls are working in inhuman conditions in Delhi. “Humanity itself is at stake. We all need to ensure a healthy childhood, education and health facilities for these kids. All stakeholders must come together and act”. Earlier, two girls from Jharkhand were rescued from Rajouri Garden and Kingsway Camp. Both the girls had not haved receive payment from their respective employers. “Placement agencies are running a trafficking nexus in Delhi which needs to be curbed. I appeal to all stakeholders to regulate the functioning of placement agencies. Strongest action should be taken against the employer,” Maliwal had earlier said.

‘Haryana Police shows zero tolerance towards human trafficking’

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Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has taken a strict view of large-scale trafficking of juveniles towards north India: Goel

Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights member Balkrishan Goel, who was recently given an award by Consulate General of the United States in India for his contribution in the field of child rights protection, spoke to The Hindu on the increasing cases of crime against the juveniles, including rape in the State and the efforts being made by the commission to tackle it.

Haryana has been one of the destination States for minor girls trafficked from Jharkhand, Bihar and West Bengal for marriages and household work. A human trafficking racket was recently busted in Faridabad. What efforts have been made by the Haryana State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (HSCPCR) to curb this menace?

The commission has taken a strict view of the large-scale trafficking of juveniles towards north India including parts of Haryana. The district Child Welfare Committees (CWCs), District Child Protection Units and the police have been directed to carry out special drives across the State to identify the juveniles working as domestic helps and rescue them. A placement agencies racket is on the radar and we are not going to spare even a single trafficker in the State. The Faridabad police is pioneer in establishing Anti-Human Trafficking Police Station in India. The statistics prove that the Haryana Police are now following zero tolerance policy towards human trafficking in the State. In 2016, we registered only 30-odd cases and only 48 in 2017. In 2018, however, more than 20 cases have been registered in the first three months itself.

The instances of rape and molestation of minor girls are also on the rise in Haryana. What has been done by the commission in this regard?

The HSCPCR has been encouraging people to report the cases and providing every kind of support to the victims of sexual abuse. We extend all possible medical, police, legal and psychological help to the victims. The campaigns against sexual violence by non-government and other organisations are supported by the commission.

The police officers are found to lack sensitivity and knowledge of law to deal with criminal cases involving minor victims. What efforts have been made by the c commission in this direction ?

The commission is sensitising the police force time and again, especially the child welfare officers who are posted in every police station of the State. It is one of our top priorities. We are preparing an informative text in a simple language to circulate in the police force in order to ensure strict implementation of all the laws related to the children.

The CWCs in Haryana have also failed to assert their authority due to lack of knowledge about their power s and inadequate infrastructure. Your comments.

I would disagree. The people serving as CWC officials are the best human rights activists and professionals with deep roots in the field of child rights. Undoubtedly, issues such as poor infrastructure, poor record maintenance, and callous attitude of the members have been there, but things are improving. It might take time, but the State government is working in the best interest of the children to ensure justice to the victims of any kind of violence. We are working in the direction to liberate CWCs from ad hocism and keep their independence intact.

What efforts have been made by the commission to ensure safety of children in schools in the wake of the murder of a child in a private school in Bhondsi last year?

The State government had sent across an extensive circular on ‘Safety of School Children’ inside the school premises. The schools have been asked to maintain a complete record of entry and exit. The police verification is mandatory for every staff and should be repeated every year. The school authorities are directed to install CCTV cameras in every nook and corner.

The re are instances where Child Care Homes have been found running without proper monitoring in Haryana. In the case of Apna Ghar in Rohtak children were sexually abused for years. A Home in Gurugram is also under the scanner for alleged violation of adoption laws and suspected human trafficking. Your comments.

The proper monitoring of all the 68 Homes in the State is being done on a regular basis. Any one violating rules and laws will be dealt with strictly and the same has been directed to the other departments of the State as well. The children in the Homes are asked to report any crime against them to the officials. CCTV cameras are being installed in the Homes.

The district Child Welfare Committees, District Child Protection Units and the police have been directed to carry out special drives across the State [Haryana] to identify the juveniles working as domestic helps and rescue them

मानव तस्करी मामले में आरोपित को भेजा जेल

Dainik Jagran Hindi News

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काजीमोहम्मदपुर थाना क्षेत्र के सादपुरा इलाके से युवती की मानव तस्करी मामले को लेकर तीन दिनों तक चले हाइवोल्टेज ड्रामा के बाद पुलिस ने बुधवार को आरोपित युवक फूलबाबू को जेल भेज दिया।

काजीमोहम्मदपुर थाना क्षेत्र के सादपुरा इलाके से युवती की मानव तस्करी मामले को लेकर तीन दिनों तक चले हाइवोल्टेज ड्रामा के बाद पुलिस ने बुधवार को आरोपित युवक फूलबाबू को जेल भेज दिया। उसकी मां और भाई को हिरासत में लेकर कई प्रमुख बिंदुओं पर पूछताछ की जा रही है। आरोपितों के खिलाफ पीड़िता की मां ने मानव तस्करी करने का आरोप लगाते हुए प्राथमिकी दर्ज कराई थी। लापता युवती को फारबिसगंज से पुलिस ने बरामद किया। वहीं से आरोपित को भी गिरफ्तार किया गया था। बरामद युवती को बुधवार को कोर्ट में बयान दर्ज कराने के बाद मेडिकल जांच कराया गया। इसी आधार पर आगे की कार्रवाई करने की कवायद में पुलिस जुटी है। इधर, पुलिस की प्रारंभिक छानबीन में मामला प्रेम-प्रसंग का बताया जा रहा है। आरोपित के परिजन ने युवक और युवती की शादी का प्रमाणपत्र कोर्ट में पेश किया है। पुलिस का कहना है कि युवती के बयान पर ही सबकुछ निर्भर करता है। उसी के बयान पर आगे की कार्रवाई की जाएंगी। अभी फिलहाल मामले की तहकीकात की जा रहीं हैं। बता दें कि युवती के घर से लापता होने के बाद इलाके में जमकर हंगामा हुआ। आरोपित के घर का घेराव कर लिया गया। थाने पर भी दोनों पक्ष आपस में भिड़ गए थे। इलाके में तनाव व्याप्त हो गया था। वरीय अधिकारियों ने मौके पर पहुंचकर किसी तरह मामले को शांत कराया था। पुलिस फोर्स को गश्ती बढ़ानी पड़ी थी। तीन दिन बाद आरोपित के जेल जाने पर मामला पूरी तरह शांत हुआ।

Traffickers recruit child labour as Indian schools break for summer, campaigners warn

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Anti-trafficking groups are warning that many children never return to school once they start working

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As schools break for summer, human traffickers across India are convincing impoverished parents to send their children to work over the holidays in factories and farms, campaigners said.

Anti-trafficking groups are urging the government to crack down on child labour during the two-month break, warning that many children never return to school once they start working.

“In this season, playgrounds and neighbourhood shops become hunting grounds for traffickers,” said Kuralamuthan Thandavarayan of the International Justice Mission, an anti-trafficking charity.

“They track children from poor families and convince parents that it is a waste of time to allow their children to play or stay home when they can earn instead.”

There are an estimated 10.1 million workers between the ages of 5 and 14 in India, according to the International Labour Organization.

More than half of them toil on farms and over a quarter are in the manufacturing sector embroidering clothes, weaving carpets, making matchsticks and bangles.

“In many villages, with both parents out working, teenagers at home during summer break are lured by recruiters looking to hire cheap labour in the (textile) mills,” said Joseph Raj of the non-profit Trust for Education and Social Transformation.

Other children join their parents in brick kilns, where they work between November and June, when the rainy season begins. The recruitment and payment systems in these kilns trap seasonal migrant workers in a cycle of bonded labour, according to a 2017 report by the rights groups Anti-Slavery International and Volunteers for Social Justice.

Wages are low and often paid at the end of the season, and families are forced to put their young children to work to make 1,000 bricks a day, which allows them to make the minimum wage, said the report.

“Agents promise to bring the children back to the village in time for the new academic session. But the problem is that many don’t return,” said Krishnan Kandasamy of the National Adivasi Solidarity Council, an advocacy group.

Tamil Nadu state government data showed that nearly 30 percent of the 1,821 people rescued from debt bondage in 2017 were children.

“It starts out as children helping their parent, but slowly they take on more work that involves longer hours,” Kandasamy told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

He said his organisation has already rescued 456 bonded labourers in the southern states of Tamil Nadur, Karanataka and Andhra Pradesh this year, many of them children.

“We are increasingly finding children in mango orchards, jasmine flower farms, brick kilns, rag-picking centres and out grazing cattle,” said Kandasamy.