Police in the north-east Indian state of Assam have rescued 422 victims of human trafficking, mostly minors, and arrested 281 offenders since 2011, according to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID), highlighting the magnitude of this problem in the entire northeastern region. Official records showed that of the total 93 victims of trafficking in 2011, 36 were minors including 28 girls. The number of victims went up to 188 in 2013 and 94 were found to be below 18 years. The shocking figures were released in a report by the state CID during a two-day regional conference in Guwahati that ended on Thursday, in which 7 northeastern states and Sikkim discussed the problem of women and child trafficking. The meeting was organized by the Assam State Commission for Women, in collaboration with the UN’s children’s fund UNICEF and National Commission for Women.
Additional Director General of Police (CID) Mukesh Sahay noted that the entire northeast was a lucrative source for trafficked women and children to the large cities of India, with Guwahati being the major transit point. He said most of the people had fallen victim to traffickers after they moved out of the region due to poverty induced by violence, ethnic conflicts or natural disasters such as floods. He said women and children were taken on the promise of jobs and often fall prey to the sex trade in brothels, spas and beauty parlours in big cities.