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16 Jan 2017

Trafficking check by UN

TT, Jalpaiguri, Jan. 15: The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) will launch a pilot project in Jalpaiguri district tomorrow to prevent trafficking of women and children.
Sources said the Unicef had also selected South 24 Parganas for a similar project.
Last week, Unicef representatives and officials of the district administration held a meeting here.
Shasmita Ghosh, the district child protection officer, said four blocks in Jalpaiguri, Malbazar, Metelli, Nagrakata and Dhupguri, that were dotted with tea estates had been included in the project.
Sources said the rate of trafficking was higher in tea estates, particularly in closed and sick gardens.
"An action plan has been prepared by the Unicef in association with the administration," Paromita Neogi, an official of the Unicef posted in Calcutta, said.
The Unicef, district social welfare department, NGOs and the police will begin a survey from tomorrow to find out places from where children and women are trafficked, the traffickers, dubious placement agencies in other states that are involved in the racket and the role of panchayats.
"We will also try to find out if it is poverty or lucrative job offers that prompts families to assent to the traffickers' propositions, how many children and women have been trafficked and when, how much data is available with the police, and how many victims have no communication with their families," Ghosh said.
Rehabilitation of victims who have been rescued would also be brought under the ambit of the project, Ghosh said.
In north Bengal, children, adolescent girls and women are regularly trafficked from the four blocks, sources said.
"They are trapped and taken to other states in the name of jobs and sold in brothels or to people who run sex rackets," an official said. "Many are handed over to people who run rackets to sell body parts like kidneys."
Police officers said that in most cases, families of the victims do not approach the police. "Most families wait for months with the hope that the person would return or send money. This delays the process of recovery and arrest of the trafficker," an officer said.
Jalpaiguri police chief Amitabha Maiti said: "We have some data that can be used to identify vulnerable areas and population where traffickers try to step in."

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