He said women and children were taken on the promise of jobs and often fall prey to the sex trade in brothels, spas and beauty parlors in big cities. He said many women were rescued from Haryana, where there is a demand for girls due to the skewed sex ratio. Assam at present has 14 anti-human trafficking units including one attached to the Government Railway Police (GRP) to check trafficking.
"We were rewarded Rs.2 lakh by the home ministry in 2012 for our performance in rescuing trafficking victims but we need to improve our conviction. Our conviction rate is not very good as many don't want to be witnesses in court," Sahay said.
He said that recently, 59 minor girls from Assam were rescued from a factory in Mumbai, and a police team has been sent to bring them back. A study by UNICEF recently identified six Assam districts - Sonitpur, Dhemaji, Lakhimpur, Baksa, Kokrajhar, Udalguri and Kamrup as the most vulnerable districts for trafficking.
The UNICEF and Assam State Commission for Women Aug 27 organized a regional conference on trafficking of women and children in the northeast, including Sikkim. "Not only poor and illiterate girls have fallen prey to such gangs, educated girls are also becoming targets. Women are now taken out through placement agencies and there is a need to strongly regulate such agencies," the police officer said. He said traffickers take advantage of violent incidents and riots when both police and the administration are busy in controlling the situation. They target the displaced people in relief camps during conflicts or floods, he said.