It was my uncle who sold me to a trafficker who brought me to West Bengal from Bangladesh

"It was my uncle who sold me to a trafficker who brought me to India,” Hamida Akhtar from Satkhira, Bangladesh, said when we were sitting in a softly lit room in a government-run shelter home in Liluah in Howrah district of West Bengal. With a deadpan expression, she continued: “The CID [Criminal Investigation Department] caught the trafficker and I was brought to a shelter home.” The 20-year-old is among the 38 Bangladeshi girls I interviewed in three shelter homes in January this year.

Of them, 12, all of them poor, were trafficked from different districts in Bangladesh and brought to West Bengal. Several were lured with the promise of jobs. But once both victim and trafficker crossed the border, gone was the promise of a job and the girl suddenly found herself in a brothel in the new country, or sold to a stranger.
West Bengal also acts as a transit point for human trafficking. Khalida Khatoon, for instance, said she was brought across the porous border from her hometown Barisal, but travelled the breadth of the country to Mumbai, where the trafficker sent her. There, the 16-year-old was rescued by the police and sent back to West Bengal’s Nadia district where she was in a shelter home for two years. From there she moved into another shelter home in Kolkata, run by an NGO called Sanlaap, where she has been patiently awaiting repatriation for five months.
West Bengal is the hub of internal and cross-border human trafficking in India. It shares approximately 2,220 km of land border and 259 km of riverine border with Bangladesh, most of which is unfenced, making cross-border trafficking in persons, drugs, and fake currency seamless. The districts in the State which are most vulnerable to cross-border human trafficking include North 24 Parganas, South 24 Parganas, Murshidabad, North Dinajpur, South Dinajpur, Nadia, Malda, and Cooch Behar. The State serves as a source, transit point (girls are sent to Hyderabad and Bengaluru, according to a local activist), and destination for trafficking in persons. (Via The Hindu)

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