Human trafficking on the rise in Bihar


Patna : The Bihar government Friday admitted that there has been a marked increase in the number of women and children being smuggled from the state since the launch of its Human Trafficking Prevention Programme in 2007.

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Bihar Water Resources Minister Bijendra Prasad Yadav told IANS that over 50 cases of human trafficking had been registered till July this year. There were 50 cases in 2008 and 21 in 2007.

The minister had told the state assembly last week that 128 human traffickers were arrested in 2009 and 91 women were freed from their clutches.

Most cases were reported from Kishanganj, Purnia, Araria, Katihar, Sitamarhi, Madhubani and Saharsa.

Yadav said it was a matter of serious concern that human trafficking was on the rise though special cells had been set up to initiate effective measures to check the crime.

The state government launched the Human Trafficking Prevention Programme for checking smuggling of women and child labourers and ensure a comprehensive rehabilitation scheme for the victims.

A senior police official said Bihar had become a hub of human trafficking due to large scale poverty and illiteracy.

Officials in the social welfare department said that last year’s devastating floods in the Kosi region had provided a golden opportunity to human traffickers to target poverty stricken people.

According to a report prepared by the state government along with NGOs, most children smuggled from the state end up as bonded labourers, domestic workers and employees at roadside restaurants or small textile units.

Most young girls are either forced to marry men from Punjab and Haryana or work in brothels.