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Nagaland a source point for trafficking, says police

By Our Reporter Updated: Mar 05, 2020 12:26 am
Police officials at the state conference on human trafficking on March 4 organised by the Nagaland police at Chumukedima in Dimapur.

Our Reporter
Dimapur, March 4 (EMN):
Nagaland is identified as one of the leading points of origin for trafficked people and in the past three years (2017 to 2019), 87 cases have been registered in different districts of Nagaland.

Further, it is informed that a person goes missing every fourth day in Nagaland, in which 83 percent are below the age of 18 years. 13 percent of the missing persons in Nagaland are reportedly those trafficked.

The director general of police T John Longkumer made this statement at the state conference on human trafficking organised by Nagaland police under the aegis of the ministry of Home Affairs, women safety division, on March 4 at the Rhododendron hall in Chumukedima at Dimapur. 

In his address to the gathering, Longkumer said human trafficking is a growing global threat. Statistics indicate that it is the third-largest organised criminal activity that also violates human rights, and generates profit of 150 billion US dollars annually.

Longkumer said that the victims of human trafficking belong to 136 different nationalities; 118 countries have been identified as involved in this trade. According to reports, 27 million people worldwide have been trafficked till date.

The DGP said trafficking is the exploitation of human beings. It is both national and trans-national phenomenon. The criminal activities in human trafficking are forced labour, confinement, prostitution and organ harvesting.

He said India is one of the most affected nations being both a destination as well as place of origin for trafficked people. The 2016 National Crime Records Bureau’s data indicates that 15,379 people were trafficked in India.

The Northeast region is identified as one of the most vulnerable areas due to the disparity in wealth, and lack of employment opportunities.

Longkumer informed the gathering that the police department has devised several mechanisms to combat the growing threat, the primary work being the formation of anti-human trafficking cells in every district with a senior police officer as the designated head.

The official added that 84 cases out of 87 cases have been registered under the POCSO Act alone and monitoring tools like the anti-human trafficking portal are being used. Even social media is being used to reach out to different sections of the society.

Further, Longkumer said there has been a considerable decrease in the number of human trafficking cases in the past two years but reminded the gathering to be vigilant as the threat remains potent.

He informed the gathering that to combat human trafficking, it has to be fought on three principles:  prevention, prosecution and protection.

Longkumer urged the gathering to work together to combat the threat on the principle of partnership. ‘Each of us has been micro-managing the problem efficiently. It is now time to macro-manage it effectively.’

Resource person from the District child protection unit (DCPU) of Peren, Asungbe, talked on the topic ‘recovery, rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked victims.’ The official stated that human trafficking is the third largest crime in the world.

 Asungbe said that in India, every year 22,000 women and 44,000 children are trafficked, out of which 5000 are women and 11,000 are children. About 60 percent of women who are in search of job are trafficked.

According to the official, people are trafficked commonly for sexual exploitation, prostitution, smuggling drugs or peddling it, organ removal, pornography, child labour etc. It is increasing due to poverty, lack of education, illegal trade, broken family etc among other reasons.

Asungbe said that traffickers are not always through strangers but by someone they know and trust such as family, parents, friends, and even politicians.

The reasons

According to the resource person, one of the major factors in Nagaland is ignorance: Most Nagas are not familiar with their rights but not open to learning.

Another reason is the people’s low socio-economic status: Parents are unable to send their children to schools. Likewise, the state’s poor education system, weak law enforcement and difficulty in prosecuting criminals due to the silence of victims are some of the factors, the gathering was told. 

Project officer at the directorate of Labour in Kohima, T Chubayanger was the resource person for the discussion on the topic ‘forced labour and modern slavery.’ He highlighted the International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) convention concerning forced or compulsory labour 1930 and its objective to suppress the use of forced labour in all its forms.

Chubayanger stated that the Constitution of India does not define forced labour. He informed that the minimum wage in Nagaland for skilled labour is INR 235 per day, semi-skilled at INR 210 per day and for the unskilled INR 176 per day.

The resource person said that modern slavery is in the form of forced labour, debt bondage or bonded labour, human trafficking, descent-based slavery, ‘child slavery’ and forced early marriage.

The third topic of the event was on legal awareness on human trafficking and role of the courts. The topic was highlighted and discussed by resource person, panel lawyer of the district legal service authority (DLSA) of Dimapur, Yanbemo Ngullie. The official touched upon the importance of legal awareness on human trafficking and the role of the courts.

Ngullie discussed the role of stakeholders and how they can spread awareness to the people. He added that state government at the local level should ensure compulsory high quality education, create employment opportunities and income generation programmes.

Ngullie also discussed the important role played by nongovernmental organisations as they assist victims of trafficking and slavery and engage with the criminal justice system to file claims, pursue prosecution and obtain legal compensations.

Further Ngullie stated that the media should also transmit appropriate information to ensure that the victims learn that they are not alone, and help the victim be aware of places and institutions where they can seek help.

By Our Reporter Updated: Mar 05, 2020 12:26:29 am