- 11 Feb 2022
- 3 min read
Why in News?
Recently, the Railway Protection Force (RPF) has launched a nationwide operation to curb human trafficking.
- As part of “Operation AAHT”, special teams will be deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with a focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers.
- The National Crime Records Bureau registers about 2,200 cases of Human Trafficking cases on an average each year.
What is Operation AAHT?
- The Indian Railways, which transported over 23 million passengers each day (pre-pandemic), is the largest, fastest and most reliable carrier for suspects who trafficked scores of women and children.
- Under Operation AAHT, the infrastructure and intelligence network of the force could be utilised to collect, collate and analyse clues on victims, source, route, destination, popular trains used by suspects, the identity of carriers/agents, kingpins etc and shared with other law-enforcing agencies.
- Under this, the RPF could act as a bridge cutting across States to assist the local police in the mission to curb the menace.
- Also, cyber cells would start patrolling the web/social media to look for digital footprints of Human Trafficking and the focus would be more on trains originating from districts bordering Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar.
What is Human Trafficking?
- Human trafficking, also called trafficking in persons, form of modern-day slavery involving the illegal transport of individuals by force or deception for the purpose of labour, sexual exploitation, or activities in which others benefit financially.
- Human Trafficking, especially of women and children, for sexual exploitation, forced marriage, domestic servitude, organ transplant, drug peddling, etc is an organised crime and the most abominable violation of human rights.
- There is a popular understanding that trafficking is happening a lot more between countries but a report by UNODC highlights that close to 60% of trafficking happens internally in countries.
- Situation in India: The most affected state presently is West Bengal followed by Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Assam.