Social media complicating efforts to stop human trafficking: Maiti Nepal

More than 7,500 women and children have gone missing in the past 20 years after entering India through the Nepal-India Jamunaha crossing, in Nepalgunj, Banke district. A total of 7,572 petitions of missing women and children have been filed in that period.

The applications were submitted to the Nepalgunj office of Maiti Nepal seeking requests to search the applicants’ relatives and family members. Keshav Koirala, head of Maiti Nepal Nepalgunj, said that during their search for the missing, only 1,638 people have been found so far and 5,938 women and children still remain out of contact.

He said that since the government has not yet built a rescue centre for rescue from India, there is a problem in search and rescue of missing people. According to Koirala, Nepali girls are being sold in Jibi Road in Delhi, Sonagachhi in Calcutta, Kabaddi market in Meratha, Kashmiri market in Agra and various red light areas in Mumbai.

According to the data released by Maiti Nepal Nepalgunj, so far 8,660 people who were going to India through this crossing suspiciously have been rescued and of them 8,568 have been reunited with their families.

In the same way, 365 people have been rescued from different places in India and 93 cases of trafficking have been registered with the relevant agencies, said Koirala. According to him, 529 at-risk women and children who were about to enter India have been rescued from Nepalgunj border crossing in the last one year.

Out of 529 people, who could not give a proper answer when they were questioned due to suspicion and who were going to cross the border after being cheated by the broker, 86 were from Surkhet and 82 from Banke.

Meanwhile, with the increase in the use of social media, it has been found that cases of human trafficking have also increased. Those involved in the prevention of human trafficking say that social networks such as TikTok, Facebook, among others, have come as a boon to human traffickers.

Maiti Nepal, an organisation dedicated to the victims of human trafficking, attributed the increase in the cases of human trafficking to the increase in the use of social media and said that his has made controlling human trafficking a huge challenge.

“With the help of technologies and various social media, brokers are found taking women, girls and children under their clutches with the aim of trafficking them,” said Koirala. According to Maiti Nepal Nepalgunj, it has been found that the brokers are expanding their relationship with girls through TikTok, Facebook, Imo, Messenger and WhatsApp to take them to India and third countries.

According to the women working in Jamunaha for prevention of human trafficking, people of all age groups are getting increasingly attracted to TikTok and this has made it easier for the traffickers to reach the children who are most vulnerable.

Source : TRN,