GUWAHATI, April 30 - With large-scale displacement taking place due to the ongoing flood and erosion in different parts of the State, law-enforcing agencies have been put on alert to thwart any kind of child trafficking attempt in the affected areas.
Usually, it is during such large-scale devastation or human tragedy � be it flood or ethnic clashes � that the human trafficking racketeers try to lure poor children, especially minor girls, to be employed as cheap labour or forced into slavery in places like Delhi, Haryana and South India.
Since 2010, while 9,628 children had gone missing from different parts of the State (till December 2015), less than 50 per cent of such missing children could be reunited with their parents during the same period.
A disturbing fact is that of the 9,628 children who had gone missing since 2010, 6,175 were minor girls and the success rate of tracing minor girls since 2010 has been below 50 per cent as well. The State has also registered 344 cases under the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act in the last one decade.
With nearly one lakh population affected by the flood this month in Upper Assam, police sources said that they have already activated their intelligence mechanism besides intensifying vigil in all the vulnerable areas.
Director General of Assam Police Mukesh Sahay told this reporter although there is a standing order to deal with apprehensions of human trafficking, �we nevertheless, have asked the department to be extra vigilant and ensure that the unscrupulous elements do not creep in.�
Sahay said that Assam Police has sought cooperation from local NGOs and civil society groups to keep tabs on the situation in order to negate any such attempts.
�As the State machinery's primary focus remains on rescue and rehabilitation, contribution of such groups comes in handy. It was due to such a concerted and cohesive approach that we were able to control such cases last year,� Sahay said.
Rakesh Senger of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), which is running an anti-human trafficking campaign in Assam called Mukti Caravan, said that large-scale trafficking continues to plague the State and the problem gets aggravated during floods. �We at BBA are also keeping a close watch on such unscrupulous elements in the State. There is a need for constant monitoring,� Senger said.
SPs in some of the affected districts also said they, along with other agencies including the Assam State Disaster Management Authority, are on the job to rescue the flood affected and at the same time, they are also keeping a watch that the poor and affected people do not fall prey to human traffickers.