By The Editor
Kidnapping and abduction of women and children for human slavery is on the rise globally which is a matter of great concern. Women from Nepal and Bangladesh are imported into India in large numbers and taken to different parts of the country, especially in cosmopolitan cities and big towns, where they are forced into prostitution. Theoretically, kidnapping means taking away by force or inducement young girls below age 18 and boys below age 16 without knowledge of parents or guardians. Abduction, however, means taking away a woman by deceit or inducement for sexual relationship or forcing her to marry someone against her wishes. Crimes are directly correlated with poverty and perpetrators find that poor families are easy targets. Laws have been enacted for protection of women and children though they do not speak about stopping immoral traffic.
According to a report of Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) for period April-December, 2022, 686 minor children and 39 women were rescued by Railway Protection Force (RPF) besides arrest of 10 human traffickers. Rescued victims were handed over to volunteers of Childline, non-government organisations (NGOs) and Government Railway Police or parents as mandated by law for their safe custody and further course of action. In separate drives on January 27, four minor children were rescued by RPF from different railway stations in the state of Assam. One runaway minor girl was rescued from Kamakhya Railway Station during routine joint checking by RPF and Crime Intelligence Branch team of Guwahati. She was later handed over to Childline. Guwahati RPF also rescued another runaway girl and two boys during routine checking at Lumding Railway Station. After all formalities were completed all the three of them were handed over to their respective parents and they were instructed to be more careful in future.
In order to check human trafficking, NFR authorities have formed “Meri Saheli” which functions round the clock and creates awareness among women and children travelling on trains for their safety and security and use of helpline number 139 in case of necessity which has been a great relief to the people. Remedial measures for women protection are highly needed like strengthening of laws against different kinds of violence against women such as attack and rape, throwing acid on them, etc. More women should be recruited to police force and cases relating to violence against women should be quickly redressed. In decision-making on role of women, women representatives should be involved because most often they are the main targets and understand the situation better and NGOs are expected to also play vital role. Convention on Rights of the Child is welcome which covers many issues like civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights. United Nations (UN) is very much concerned on the main agenda of human trafficking which spells out recommendations aimed at prevention and reintegration of victims.