NEW DELHI AFP Dec22, 2016-According to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2014 Global Slavery Index, more than 14 million adults and children are trapped in modern slavery in India, the most of any country.
India’s official statistics grossly underestimate the crime with only 5,466 cases of human trafficking reported in 2014. Indian police said on Thursday they had rescued 70 victims of human trafficking, including 33 children, in a restive and impoverished region of central India. The victims, who had been sold to factories and brick kilns, were being transported on a bus when police intercepted the vehicle following a tip-off from anti-trafficking campaigners in Bastar district of Chhattisgarh state on Wednesday. “We have rescued 20 minor boys and 13 girls. Rest of them are adults and were sold as bonded labourers,” Bastar child protection officer Vijay Shankar Sharma told AFP.
Police also arrested a five-member gang on trafficking charges.
All the victims are from tribes in resource-rich Bastar and adjoining districts.