Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar today said child labour and human trafficking are “serious issue” and pledged financial assistance to those rescued from human trafficking. “We have been giving Rs 25,000 to the rescued child labour from Chief Minister’s Relief Fund to rehabilitate them. And we (govt) would like to give more than this (Rs 25000) to those rescued from human trafficking so that they can lead a dignified life,” Kumar said. Kumar was addressing a two-day 6th anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) conclave organised by the US Consulate General, Kolkata and NGO Shakti Vahini in the state capital. “It (child labour and human trafficking) is a serious issue and a challenge for the state government and we have taken it seriously.
The government has been sensitive on such issues. Though the government agencies and concerned departments are dealing with the issues but such social ills can not be dealt with laws alone,” he said. “There is a need to start a serious campaign to sensitise people about such issues and their ill effects,” he said while terming human trafficking as “heinous crime”. Kumar praised people and NGOs which are working to eradicate social evils and asked NGOs to take it to the logical conclusion. The state government would look into the issue of setting up of placement centre if they (NGOs) come out with such proposal, he said.
The social problem will be there unless and until socio-economic disparity is removed otherwise crime would recur in other form, the CM said. Giving the figures of rescue operations of human trafficking, he said that 53 rescue operations were carried out in 2012 in which 221 victims were rescued and 207 traffickers were arrested. Similarly, the cumulative figure for rescue operations between 2012 to 2016, the agencies carried out 322 rescue operations in which 1481 victims were rescued while 1022 traffickers were arrested. On the figures of missing children in the state, the CM gave the figures registered between January 2013 and December 2016 as per which out of 8327 missing children, 5256 children have been traced while 3071 are yet to be traced.
The government is not sitting idle rather it is working on all fronts to check such incidents, he said.
Kumar said that Bihar stands at 22nd position vis-a-vis crime incidents while Delhi, which under Central government’s control, occupies number one position but even a small incident in Bihar is blown out of proportion. Speaking on the occasion, US Consul General Craig Hall said that India and United States are working together to combat the issue of human trafficking. “India and US, are working together to promote human rights. And on the agenda of human rights is this issue of human trafficking which is a modern day slavery. Its a complex and trans-national problem in US, in India and in the region,” he added.
Prominent among those present on the occasion included Social Welfare Minister Kumari Manju Verma, NGO Shakti Vahini’s national president Ravi Kant, social activist Rishikant and others.