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Home / India / How an anonymous phone call ends in girl trafficking

How an anonymous phone call ends in girl trafficking

It usually starts with a missed call. Human trafficking finds a new route through 'phone relationships'. Most victims end up in slave-like conditions, writes Ashwaq Masoodi in Mint.

india Updated: Sep 05, 2014, 12:28 IST
Ashwaq Masoodi, Mint
Ashwaq Masoodi, Mint

It usually starts with a missed call. When the call is returned, the person at the other end of the phone compliments the caller on, say, her voice. Unlike a normal relationship, these “phone relationships” in poor villages of North Bengal take quick leaps. Within a day or two, the person who had given the missed call proposes marriage to the teenager. He doesn’t want to wait. They must elope. There is a promise of love, faithfulness and always a better life in a big city.

It’s a promise that is false. As many as 82,101 children went missing across India in 2013-14 (till February), of whom 48,688 were from West Bengal, according to government figures. A 2004 report by the National Human Rights Commission on trafficking of women and children said that one-third of children reported missing every year in India remained untraced and that many of these were trafficked. Read more

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