Kashmir faces rising trafficking cases, Women’s Panel calls it ‘Tip of Iceberg’

Kashmir faces rising trafficking cases, Women's Panel calls it 'Tip of Iceberg'

The National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma on Thursday said human trafficking increased by 15.56 per cent in Jammu and Kashmir last year as compared to the 2021-22 financial year but it is “just the tip of an iceberg”. “In the last few years, we have seen in Kashmir also that women are getting targeted. The NCRB data shows that it has increased 15.56 per cent last year compared to 2021-22. And this is just the tip of the iceberg because the data does not give the true picture,” Rekha Sharma told PTI, ahead of the anti-human trafficking workshop organised by the NCW here.

Rekha Sharma said the purpose of holding the workshop in Kashmir was to make people aware of the menace of human trafficking. “We must now work to save our daughters and our children. This is the main purpose of making it (workshop) happen in Kashmir,” she said. “Human trafficking is a serious crime and it does not have boundaries whether it is Kashmir or Kanyakumari. This is prevalent everywhere. And sometimes, the victims of the trafficking do not even know that they are the victims,” Sharma said.

“The main problem is due to lack of awareness. This is our first of its kind programme in Jammu and Kashmir where all the forces — state commissions, NGOs — are together to make people aware, especially the students, that nobody is out of reach of this problem,” the NCW chief said.

Rekha Sharma said the women were being trafficked under the pretext of being provided well-paying jobs. “They give false promises of jobs here, or elsewhere in India, but they don’t get paid properly and are abused. Even in Kashmir, trafficking through marriage has increased. Women are coming from West Bengal for jobs but then they are married forcibly to somebody who sexually abuses them,” she said, adding that a short film on this topic will also be screened here.

Asked when the Women’s Commission in Jammu and Kashmir will be restored, she said the Centre is planning something along those lines. “I think the process is on. Otherwise, when the state assembly is there or the state government is there, they nominate the state commission but they (Centre) are thinking something out of the box,” she said without giving further details.

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