16 Year Old Girl Trafficked from North 24 Parganas, West Bengal

Though “transnationalism” - the flow of people, of labour and ideas across nations are growing, and seen as an evolution, it carries negative consequences as well. Along with “globalisation”, there is an increase in transnational crime of human trafficking.

In this video, the Community Correspondent (CC), Milan Mondal is accompanying parents of one 16 year old minor victim of trafficking to the police station to lodge a complaint. The place is Bashirhat, North 24 Pargana district, West Bengal, in India - Bangladesh Border, a hotbed for trafficking of minor girls.

According to one UN report, human trafficking wields the third highest position of profit, with the ability to generate billions of dollars annually. The victims are often lured and trapped. Here in this situation, the school going girl was befriended and was promised a prosperous life and marriage from a boy from Bangladesh. The parents said they caught her talking to the boy on the phone, whereas the parents are poor to afford a phone. Despite the mother cautioning her about these kinds of trafficking scenarios, the girl was relentless in pursuing a promised prosperous life with the boy. 

According to UNICEF, as many as two million children are subjected to prostitution in the global commercial sex trade. International covenants and protocols obligate criminalisation of the commercial sexual exploitation of children. Trafficking of minors has long-lasting psychological and physical consequences for the victims.

There are many factors for these trafficking, mostly social and economic issues are first and foremost. The lack of opportunity for a better life and a lack of women’s rights make women vulnerable in developing countries. In India and other countries, we see impoverished families view their daughters as an economic burden. The trafficking victims fall into the hands of traffickers because they are trying to seek a better life and opportunities for themselves, and eventually their families. Sex trafficking has also grown due to political unrest, instability, militarism, and natural disasters. All these factors contribute and affect the forced migration of potential victims and their increased vulnerability.

Traffickers may use any means necessary to coerce their victims into the system; this can include offering them job opportunities, romantic ventures or even resorting to a great amount of violence. In this video, it is a romantic trap. According to National Crime Records Bureau, India, in 2021, a total of 885 girls aged between 5-18 in North 24 Pargana District have been missing. A total of 6640 girls aged 16-24 have been missing in West Bengal in 2021.

On April 3, 2022, the minor victim here sedated her family with sleeping pills and ran away at midnight with the boy. Such is the power of these traffickers' tactics. Please share this video to create awareness on human trafficking. 

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