(MENAFN- IANS) By Sujit Chakraborty
Itanagar, April 2 (IANS) Amid frequent incidents of women and child trafficking as well as growing number of child labourers in the northeastern states, the Changlang district administration in Arunachal Pradesh has formed panels to prepare a village-wise list of minors who have migrated out of the district for purposes other than education.
Changlang district Deputy Commissioner Sunny K. Singh in a notification said that there are reports suggestive of the fact that parents are sending their daughters -- those beyond 18 years, to work as domestic help without signing any agreement with the employer and at maximum on the basis of informal agreements which is in violation of various labour-related laws.
All the mechanisms for ensuring protection of children are already in place in the district with the child welfare committee functional at district level while the concerned Child Development Project Officers are also entrusted to act as District Child Protection Officers, a notification read.
Singh, an IAS officer, said that there are various standing orders of the Arunachal Pradesh government as well as from various courts wherein clear directives and responsibilities have been affixed at all levels to ensure protection of the child.
He said a committee each has been formed for Bordumsa, Diyun, Miao, Namphai and Kharsang circles in the district even as most of the cases have been reported from Bordumsa and Diyun circles.
In order to prevent the possibility of any child trafficking from Changlang district and also to rescue the trafficked child, the Deputy Commissioner has formed various committees involving all stakeholders.
Asking the committees to submit their reports by April 30, the Deputy Commissioner has also told them to prepare a village-wise list of children (less than 18 years) who have migrated out of the district for any other purpose than education. The committees would then prepare a list of 'vulnerable children' who are looking for employment -- and thus may easily fall prey to trafficking racket, by consulting their parents.
The Committees shall also identify the list of other vulnerable children, mainly the school dropouts, and must counsel these children and parents about the modus operandi and ill effects of human trafficking, Singh said.
The panels would also find if any middlemen in these areas are rendering assistance in trafficking of children.
A district official on the condition of anonymity told IANS that most minor children, including girls above 18 years of age -- missing or staying away from their homes for months -- are from the Chakma and Adivasi communities.
Changlang district's Superintendent of Police has also been asked to sensitise the police personnel across circles to motivate them to identify those involved in human trafficking.
Meanwhile, a study has suggested that since Assam is the gateway to the northeastern states, it has served as a source, transit, and destination for women and children trafficked for sexual exploitation, forced labour, forced marriage, and domestic slavery, among other things.
Assam's Sonitpur, Nagaon, Silchar, Dhubri, Kokrajhar, Kamrup, and other areas are routes of trafficking, while Siliguri, Mumbai, Goa, Chennai, Haryana, Punjab, Delhi, Guwahati, Silchar, and others are destinations, the study suggested.
Guwahati, Kokrajhar, Bandardewa (on Assam-Arunachal border), Silchar, Siliguri, and other areas are "key transit points".
The railhead in Guwahati also serves as a gateway to the rest of India. As a result, trafficking routes include the Guwahati-New Jalpaiguri railway line and the Guwahati-Siliguri Road.
Often, the Railway Protection Force, Government Railway Police, state police and various other agencies, have been rescuing minor children specially girls while they were being trafficked to various parts of India, and abroad.
During June and July 2021, when Covid-induced restrictions were in place in the country, a total of 108 children trafficked from villages mainly having Bodo and Adivasi population were rescued by the Assam Police.
In June 2021, someone blew a whistle about trafficker Krishna Jogi, and children disappearing from the border villages of Bodoland Territorial Region (BTR) in western Assam comprising Chirang, Kokrajhar, Baksa and Udalguri districts. The BTR shares border with Bhutan.
Acting on a tip-off, the Assam Police apprehended Jogi from his house and took him to Sikkim to trace the trafficked children.
All the children were aged between 9 to 18 years, and engaged as domestic help.
The children were rescued by the Assam Police during a month-long operation whom Jogi lured with the promise of money and education.
(Sujit Chakraborty can be contacted at )