What the world knows about human trafficking is meagre relative to its spread-out operation all across the globe. It is the fastest growing organised crime globally, making it the most lucrative crime business among the other contenders.
The media hardly talks about it, even though, it is the world’s third-largest organised crime, following arms trade and drugs in first and second position respectively.
According to The Global Slavery Index, there exist about 18.3 million slaves in our country and 40.3 million worldwide. About every eight minutes, a child is found missing in India and the average age of those abducted children (mostly girls) is 12. Adding to that, allegedly, India is the epicentre of all the human trafficking racket managed in Asia. These statistics are just real figures that grimly paints the dismal state of our country without any further explanation.
Human trafficking is done either through luring in girls through promises of a better lifestyle, handsome money or abduction. They are made to stay under the traffickers’ surveillance against their will and forced into bonded labour or sexual exploitation. Most of the girls are sent to brothels or sold to clients at lucrative rates.
In states like Punjab and Haryana where the female to male ratio is very low, the abducted girls are forced to marry men for procreating intentions. The boys are also no less unsafe in the world of inhuman crimes. They are exploited as labour workers at a very cheap rate.
Most of the time, the children, and their parents are brainwashed with dreams of a better education and life, before they are sent off to different places for exploitation. Many times, it is the parents who sell off their girl child as they find them to be ‘a burden’ in their life. Whatever may be the case, these biases, and degeneracy for the moneymaking business need to stop now.
The Indian bias when it comes to gender, poverty, corruption and demand for brothels have given rise to orchestrate this atrocious crime worldwide, which leaves me to the belief that civilization is just a term we use to appease our ego. Somewhere, we behave worse than animals do. Education and literacy among the children, the parents, and the society can be possible solutions here, but I think we have crossed the point from where we could come back to ‘civilization’.
I feel ashamed to be a part of this grievous world full of sinister, immoral and evil people. I feel afraid and scared for the little girls out there, uneducated and unprotected, ready to be abducted at any given time. I came across some of the most heart-wrenching stories about the trafficked children through their eyes, and I felt very disheartened about the sad condition of our society. We are not able to protect our children, and every year more than 20,000 children are falling victim to the human trafficking industry.
The traffickers are becoming very smart nowadays as well. They mostly target vulnerable and needy families because of the higher chance of consent from the family. They are using social media to track and trap kids. Most of their interactions with clients and peers are done using technology. So, it helps them to hide their identity and carry out their business in an organized way.
My Choices Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been helping prevent human trafficking for more than two years with “Operation Red Alert”. They plan to uproot the trafficking system using three steps – expose, empower and eradicate.
They have built around 450 SVPs or Safety Village Programs in the villages which are highest prone to traffickers all over the country. They started off with West Bengal (258 SVPs), Telangana (118 SVPs), Andhra Pradesh (43 SVPs) and are focusing on the other primary states susceptible to trafficking.
Under the SVP program, they conduct two days workshop for the students, teachers, parents and the gram panchayats. They also develop a ‘Community Vigilance Committee’ that protects the village from future trafficking and passes on the learning and activism that was initially started off by the SVP.
I am hopeful that the societal frauds will be eradicated sooner than later if we join hands against such crimes. The children will be rescued and brought back to their families. With all the love that I have, my prayer and empathy go out to those children who have no idea where their life is heading to, yet they are forced to be the puppets of such heinous crimes.
I congratulate and fully support My Choices Foundation for their initiation and constant support to end girl child labour, human trafficking, and sexual exploitation. As rightly said by Michael Yangad, the Director of Operations of International Justice Mission, the NGOs and the government bodies have to unitedly evolve to be smarter and better than the traffickers, and cope up to their fast-paced adaptation system to bring an end to this malignant crime, not only in India, but all over the world.