Alarming! 8 children trafficked everyday in 2021; experts demand stringent anti-trafficking law
According to the latest National Crime Records Bureau data, a total of 2,189 cases of human trafficking were registered in 2021 as compared to 1,714 in 2020, showing an increase of 27.7 per cent.
Experts cited the NCRB research and demanded a strict anti-trafficking law given the concerning trend, which showed that eight children were exploited and trafficked into the country daily in 2021.
A total of 2,189 cases of human trafficking were reported in 2021, up from 1,714 in 2020, according to the most recent National Crime Records Bureau data, a 27.7% rise.
"A total of 6,533 victims have been reported to be trafficked of which 2,877 are children and 3,656, adults. Apart from this, 6,213 victims have been rescued from the clutches of traffickers," the report said.
A total of 5,755 persons were arrested in 2,189 cases of trafficking, it added. The report accounts only for cases registered by the Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs).
20 states and union territories have established these units in all of their districts, and 768 AHTUs are currently operational.
The majority of the 2,189 cases of human trafficking reported by AHTUs in 2021, 347, 320, and 203 cases have been reported in Telangana, Maharashtra, and Assam, respectively.
"As per this data, eight children were trafficked every day in the country for different forms of exploitation such as labour, sexual exploitation, begging," experts said.
In light of the concerning trend of children being trafficked, according to Crime in India 2021, Jyoti Mathur, Executive Director at Kailash Satyarthi Children's Foundation, said the foundation demands the passage of a strong anti-trafficking law.
"It is unfortunate that incidence of trafficking increased by 28 per cent in 2021 and 44 per cent of these victims are children," Mathur told PTI.
A large number of instances recorded in 2021 is just the beginning. According to the expert, when the children who went missing in prior years are added to the 77,535 youngsters who were reported missing in the same report, the total rises to 1,21,351.
She added that the bulk of these kids might be trafficking victims and that the actual situation is much more grave and alarming because so many cases go undetected. According to Kaushik Gupta, an attorney at the Calcutta High Court, the report makes it very apparent that it only includes AHTUs registered cases of human trafficking.
"There are many more cases which have not reached the AHTU and hence is not reflected in the report. Therefore, in my opinion, this report is inaccurate and incomplete," he said.
It also emphasises the requirement for a law that targets human trafficking. He added the survivors are anxiously anticipating the passage of the anti-trafficking bill by Parliament as soon as possible.
Suresh Kumar, an anti-trafficking activist, said there's a 28 per cent jump in human trafficking cases in the country compared to the last reported cases.
"The conviction rate is only about 1.5 per cent. The poor rate of conviction fuels the highly organised crime of human trafficking. Traffickers work with impunity," he said.
"The country needs a comprehensive victim-centered law to combat human trafficking. The survivor of human trafficking needs long-term support to bounce back in life," Kumar added.
(With inputs from PTI)