Five states will help each other fight human trafficking, amid reports that at least 25,000 children are trafficked from Jharkhand and West Bengal every year to different parts of the country, especially Delhi.
The decision to jointly combat the growing nexus of traffickers was taken at a meeting between representatives of Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand governments in the national capital on Tuesday, officials said.
Maharashtra was included as a partner as reports say many children smuggled out of the eastern states land up in Mumbai and Pune, an official in the Jharkhand social welfare department said on Wednesday.
The governments of Jharkhand, Delhi, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra will soon sign MoUs or memorandum of understanding with each other to combat the menace.
“The draft will be prepared within a month or two. We will then send it to the governments concerned and sign the final MoU,” said Mridula Sinha, principal secretary, social welfare department, Jharkhand.
The states would not only share crucial information but also conduct raids and rescue operations together, said Sinha.
The trafficked children, usually tribal girls, are employed as domestic helps in the metros and often suffer mental and sexual abuse. Many of them end up in brothels, anti-human trafficking activists said.
Police officers welcomed the move, saying it would help bust inter-state human-trafficking gangs.
Another plus-point of this concerted effort would be identification of tribal girls who voluntarily go to the cities for employment as seasonal labourers.
“Efforts would be made to maintain a database of the number of girls employed, work history and where they are from. This could be shared with the states to which they belong as and when required or if a girl goes missing,” an official said.
Besides, every state has its own data of missing children and trafficking victims.