Patiala, December 7
A professor from University of Burdwan, West Bengal, has alleged discrepancies in the data published by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) regarding human trafficking. The data projects a decline in human trafficking since 2016.
Prof Biswajit Ghosh presented a paper on the same during an international conference on Children and Media at Punjabi University and alleged that the official figures on trafficking mentioned in the data do not come close to the real volume of the crime.
According to Ghosh, the reports of NCRB show a decline in human trafficking cases from 8,132 in 2016 to 2,189 in 2021, but it does not include the missing, abducted, married children and the bonded labour. He said, “If 30 per cent of such children are treated as trafficked, the total figure would be nearly 60,000.”
He alleged discrepancies in the NCRB data and said, “The total number of trafficking cases in 2021 as shown in the data is 2,189, but if crimes listed under different trafficking laws (ITPA, 366A, 366B, 370, 370A, 372 and 373) are considered, the figure becomes 5,582. And if we include Section 367 (kidnapping and abduction for slavery, unnatural lust) also, the total figure would be much higher.”
He further said, “Within 21 days of the first lockdown in March 2020, an official helpline launched to record child abuse, received about 4.6 lakh SOS calls with callers seeking safety from abuse and violence. The helpline received more than 50 lakh calls between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2021.”
The professor further alleged that Save the Children, an NGO, claimed that as many as 5 lakh girls were forced into early marriage in India in 2020. He said another NGO, Bachpan Bachao Andolan, has rescued more than 9,000 trafficked children since April 2020.
The professor said a number of issues, including low conviction rate, were yet to be resolved. “The pendency percentage of cases is above 96%, while the acquittal rate for traffickers is 89 per cent”, he said.
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