A growing number of trafficking victims are occurring in India. A total of 19,223 women and children were trafficked in 2016, compared to 15, 448 in 2015, according to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB).

The highest number of victims came from the West Bengal State in Eastern India, a reported 3,559 women and 3,113 children.

The Telegraph claims that this number could be even higher, with the sales of children from an orphanage in West Bengal coming to light and the number of missing peoples cases added.

However, a senior Delhi police officer stated this it was very difficult to prove that these types of crime were raising dramatically.

Recently, more victims have been coming forward, in general, because there is more information available on trafficking through government and civil groups that was not there in the past.

Trafficking is prohibited by the Indian constitution. So, why it this happening so often? The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) believes it might have something to do with the country’s cultural practices and gender roles. Trafficking for marriage is becoming more common, alongside, sexual exploitation and forced labour that has always existed.

By Rhea Braganza