A convergence between the central and state agencies and the community living in border regions and a balanced security approach by the BSF is a must to curb cross-border trafficking, according to a study. The study on cross border trafficking and safety along the India-Bangladesh border revealed that “sensational unemployment”, child marriage and child protection violations are the major vulnerabilities exploited by the traffickers.
Titled “Adolescence at the Border,” the study, released on Tuesday evening, was jointly conducted by the Border Security Force (BSF) outposts in West Bengal and NGO Justice and Care, based on a sample survey on 239 adolescent girls and 144 mothers residing in eight bordering villages in the state.
There is a need for non-traditional approaches to ensure security at the border, it said. The study also prescribed a balanced role by the BSF in managing the border and ensuring human rights and community-based collaboration by the BSF and police.
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Carried out with the objective of highlighting the experiences of adolescent girls on the border, the study also suggested that the BSF should develop a collaborative strategy with the state police and local administrations to improve a cross-border rapid response system towards curbing trafficking.
“Ensure investigation and prosecution of trafficking crimes by correctly recording the crime under human trafficking laws and sections instead of sections under the Foreigners Act.
“Also inspect ancillary networks engaged in preparations of fake identity documents and updates on voter lists in vulnerable pockets,” it said.
Claiming that six out of 16 cases referred by the BSF to the NGO last year, turned out to be actual cases of human trafficking, the study suggested inclusion of labour laws and extra territorial factors in the human trafficking bill and mutual legal assistance between India and Bangladesh to contain the menace.