Salvation Army to combat human trafficking in NE

AIZAWL, Feb 16 : Even as Northeast India grapples with the problem of human trafficking, The Salvation Army (TSA), a quasi-military church, has come forward to combat the social evil.

Anti-human trafficking programme was started in Mizoram by TSA in 2005 and the project was launched today as a reinforcement of its ongoing programme.

The project, a joint venture of the Salvation Army of the United Kingdom and Mizoram, will cover sensitive areas in the Indias NE such as Moreh (near Manipur-Myanmar border), Imphal, Churachandpur, Shillong, Guwahati, Siliguri, Fatapukur, Darjeeling, Kalimpong and Namchi. Raising awareness of human trafficking, through seminars and presentations to various groups, within and outside the organization, developing partnerships with local law enforcement agencies on the issue is one of the major modus operandi.

The Salvation Armys organ Community Health Action Network (CHAN), which is undertaking the operation, had received a number of cases related to human trafficking.

According to sources, more than 300 women and children are trafficked across the border in the state of Meghalaya alone.

According to police at least 700 girls from the region have been reported to be missing over the last five years, 300 of whom disappeared in 2005 alone. But activists estimate thousands of NE girls disappear every year, most of whom are not reported by families due to the stigma associated with being part of the sex trade.