The National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) 2019 ‘Crime in India’ report has thrown some shocking facts and figures about the vulnerability of the women in India.
According to NCRB, around 105 women go missing every day in the state of Maharashtra, while 17 women are forced into the flesh trade every week.
Maharashtra has recorded the highest cases of human trafficking and missing women in the country followed by Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal.
Out of the 989 victims of human trafficking, around 88% of them were women and 6 per cent were children. The data suggests that most of the victims were trafficked for bonded labour, organ trafficking, forced marriages, drug peddling and sexual exploitation, said a report in leading media newspaper.
With regard to Maharashtra, over 95% of victims were trafficked for sexual exploitation through the flesh trade. The number of missing women increased by 13% in 2019 in comparison to 2018.
Till 2018, Maharashtra was not even in the top 10 list of missing children. However, the state is now on the fourth spot for missing children with 4,562 cases. Of them, 55% were girls.
Maharashtra is a source, transit and destination for sex trafficking with a vast network of red light areas, especially in Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur.
Not only metro cities, but the state also has several small and medium-sized red light areas. Despite a slight decline of 0.7% in kidnappings, the crimes against women are rampant in Maharashtra.
The state was not even in the list of top 10 states recording the highest number of missing children in 2018, but is now in the fourth rank nationally for registering 4,562 children missing. Of them, 55% were girls.
Having a vast network of red-light areas in the three major metros of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur, the state is a source, transit and destination point for sex trafficking. In addition to the metros, there are several small and medium-sized red-light areas thriving across the state.
The state is at the second spot in abduction cases in 2019 after Uttar Pradesh.
“The unfolding of COVID-19 in the first quarter of the year severely impacted the vulnerable segment in our society. Lack of economic growth opportunities and basic necessities aggravated the process of them being targeted by traffickers. Source states are affected the worst,” said Ranjit Singh, a human rights specialist from Delhi.