Vijayawada: Less than one per cent of suspects who were booked in nearly 200 cases of human trafficking, have been convicted in the past 10 years. The research carried out by a group of NGOs shows why human trafficking has been continuing to grow unabated.
The research analysed case documents such as chargesheets, FIRs and police general diaries related to 198 human trafficking cases and found that out of 429 named offenders only three were convicted with punishments ranging between 5 and 7 years of imprisonment. Ten accused were acquitted due to lack of evidence in cases that continued over several years.
The research revealed that 68 traffickers have been given bail and investigations linked to five traffickers have been continuing for over a decade. The report studied legal documents availed from courts and police stations of cases involving over 173 survivors of human trafficking from West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh.
The study was conducted by the team of Tapa-teesh Project with the coordination of organisations such as HELP from AP, Goranbose Gram Bikash Kendra from West Bengal and the Partners for Anti-Trafficking (PAT) Net-work. The study found that 31 out of the 429 traffickers appeared to be repeat offenders accused in multiple cases of trafficking.
All their victims were children and adolescents. “The low conviction and high acquittal figures found in the research cast doubts on the efficacy of investigations by law enforcement agencies in human trafficking cases,” said Ms Snigdha Sen, one of the researchers....