Human trafficking, an established quagmire in India, is rapidly attaining focus with astounding number of young boys trapped outside the country as illegal immigrants.
With the umpteen number of pleas of rescue by the young victims it is time to address the seriousness of the issue. It is a familiar fact that many Indians are inclined towards heading abroad given the magnitude of unemployment and the presence of the golden faraway land fantasy amongst considerable population.
Thus they become an easy prey to fraudulent agents who promise them easy ways for a better lifestyle. This fetish and innocence laid bait for the unscrupulous agents to indulge in trafficking. Agents promise easy and illegal ways of admission into colleges, which are often unaccredited, and alluring job offers in return for money.
The men, oblivious to all the scam, end up trapped in foreign countries, with no resources and no where to go for help, often becoming slaves and living a lamentable life.
Young men who went to Iraq were promised salaries as high as $800! Many girls got trapped with the hopes of admission into colleges. But most of these young people often end up as slaves, sex workers or languish in prisons.
While the government’s efforts to help these victims is under way, there has to be a check on the agents who are responsible for this predicament. Easier said than done. It has become a herculean task to identify these agents because of the lack of receipt for the money they have taken and more often the victims compromise with these agents for money.
The agents usually send these men to countries which offer visa on arrival. They leave no evidence in the victim’s travel documents and often claim they do not recognize these men or have only arranged tickets for them.
Most of the Indians who have fallen victim for this conspiracy belong to Punjab and Kerala.
Various NGOs have been working to create awareness among people to be watchful with these fake agents and to safeguard people from immigration rackets.
The Punjab prevention of human smuggling bill, 2010 and the anti-trafficking bill, 2018 tends to check human trafficking on all possible grounds in India. But on practical basis these bills are neither clear nor comprehensive and present meaningful interventions against trafficking as a pressing priority.
“Going abroad has become a new trend these days. It has both benefits and drawbacks. If someone does want to get settledown well and doesn’t have much option in India, they can think of moving abroad. However, because of the very trend amongst Indians, agencies take advantage thereof. Going to a foreign nation to build up career is not a hard nut to crack, but there is just a need of proper guidance criteria and sytem,” says Vaila Sharma who is a social works and raises awareness in Punjab