Vijayawada, the new hub for human trafficking

Vijayawada, the new hub for human trafficking
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Highlights

Vijayawada has become the new destination and transit centre for human trafficking, a recent survey revealed International nonprofit organisations working to eradicate human trafficking, child marriages and child trafficking conducted a survey with police, public prosecutors, child welfare committee members and civil society organisations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states

Ongole: Vijayawada has become the new destination and transit centre for human trafficking, a recent survey revealed. International non-profit organisations working to eradicate human trafficking, child marriages and child trafficking conducted a survey with police, public prosecutors, child welfare committee members and civil society organisations in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states.

The report also disclosed that the use of internet technology has been increased while the average age of girls found in the sex trade is lowering fast and highlighted the need to create awareness on the existing laws to people, who should see they are implemented to the true spirit.

The Terre Des Hommes- the Netherlands, Girls Advocacy Alliance, PLAN International, ECPAT, HELP Anti- Human Trafficking Non-Profit Organisation conducted a survey with the stake holders to eradicate human and child trafficking and prostitution in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana.

They intended to know and analyse the issues of trafficking, interface and coordination between various departments like enforcement, rescue, prosecution and rehabilitation.

The police personnel said that women trafficking for sex trade and child trafficking for beggar rackets was increased while the trafficking for labour, organ trade and illegal adoption was decreased.

They said that the traffickers are using flights and private vehicles to transport victims rather than transport them in trains and buses. The Hyderabad police said that during the last five months, they have arrested 10 traffickers and 12 girls, who had been trafficked from Visakhapatnam, Tirupati and Vijayawada through flights and the age of these girls was between 6 and 22 years.

The police also said that due to the rise of construction work and migration of labour from other states, Vijayawada is emerging as the new destination and transit centre for trafficking. Once Andhra Pradesh State capital gets international airport, the sex tourists will flock directly to Vijayawada by skipping landing in Hyderabad, they observed.

The public prosecutors said that the incidence of sex and child beggars trafficking is increased. They observed that the use of internet, social media and mobile phones is increased for sex trade and the age of the girls found in it is lowering fast.

The victims’ family members and relatives often were found involved in trafficking and exploitation of the girls. The prosecutors said there is not much change in the profile of the victims, they are from poor families and subjected to trafficking on the front of bonded labour.

Child welfare committees’ members said that the offence of sex trafficking has increased in their jurisdiction. They observed that there are more boys in labour trafficking and more girls in sex trafficking.

The CWC members said the traffickers are paying the parents and taking their children, but not accompanying the victims during trafficking as they are afraid of vigilance. They said that most of the child and sex traffickers are women and using private transports and monitoring the victims’ movement through mobile phones with their supporters.

The Civil Society Organisations and Shelter Providers stated the places in and around Adilabad, Mancherial, Guntur, Vijayawada, Anantapur, Bellary, Kadapa, Hyderabad, Chittoor, Prakasam, Palwancha, Khammam, Kurnool, Ongole, Addanki, Chirala and Vizag rural are the supply districts for trafficking while Bengaluru, Rajahmundry, Anantapur, Vijayawada, Tirupati, Bhadrachalam, Kothagudem, Palvancha, Mumbai and Rajasthan are the destinations. They said that girls and women between the age group of 15 to 21 years have higher demand and the traffickers using internet for booking and for shifting the girls.

NVS Rammohan Rao, Director of HELP, said that the lack of convergence among the line departments and difficulties in establishing the true identities of the victims are becoming hurdles to increase convictions. He alleged that some of the police personnel are apathetic and uninterested in antihuman trafficking cases and not following up the rescues.

The non-cooperation of victim’s family members and their hostility also helping the traffickers to evict easily, he said. Rammohan said that arranging referencing facility, speedy disposal, setting up special courts in every district, appointing special prosecutors for dealing child trafficking cases helps the victims get speedy justice. He also added that the government should see traffickers get punished to end child and women trafficking in the society.

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