The Karnataka police have set up anti-human trafficking squads in nine districts to check human trafficking.
While responding to a question in Legislative Council, Karnataka Home minister K J George said that anti-human trafficking squads have been formed in districts of Bangalore Urban, Mysore, Dharwad, Belagavi, Dakshina Kannada, Raichur, Vijayapura, Davanagere, and Kalaburagi according a report published in Vijayavaani newspaper, a Kannada daily.
The minister further said that a total of 656 cases of human trafficking have been registered from 2013 till date and 2,354 people have been arrested in these cases. In 2015 alone, 151 cases have been registered and a total of 423 people have been rescued that includes 30 men, 252 women and 141 children.
The question about human trafficking was raised by BJP’s Vimala Gowda, who raised concerns about practices like “Gujjar ki Shaadi”, wherein young girls are sold off to agents in the pretext of marriage and later these agents sell these girls into prostitution hubs.
According to this report, 27 women and children go missing or get kidnapped every day in the state. Out of 14,361 missing people between January 2014 and May 2015, only 11,283 people have been traced or have returned home.
Computer giant IBM Corp., financial services company Western Union
Co. and European police launched a project Thursday to share financial data that they said may one day be able to predict human trafficking before it occurs.
The shared data hub will collect information on money moving around the world and compare it with known ways that traffickers move their illicit gains, highlighting red flags signaling potential trafficking, organizers said.
“We will build and aggregate that material, using IBM tools, into an understanding of hot spots and routes and trends,” said Neil Giles, a director at global anti-slavery group Stop the Traffik, which is participating in the project.
Data collection, digital tools and modern technology are the latest weapons in the fight against human trafficking, estimated to be a $150 billion-a-year global business, according to the International Labor Organization.
The U.N. has set a goal of 2030 for ending forced labor and modern slavery worldwide, with more than 40 million people estimated to be enslaved around the world.
Certain patterns and suspicious activity might trigger a block of a transaction or an investigation into possible forced labor or sex slavery, organizers said.
The project will utilize IBM’s internet cloud services as well as artificial intelligence and machine learning to compare data and to spot specific trafficking terms, said Sophia Tu, director of IBM Corporate Citizenship.
With a large volume of high-quality data, the hub one day may predict trafficking before it happens, she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.
“You can’t do it today because we’re in the process of building out that amount of data and those capabilities, but it’s in the road map for what we want to do,” she said.
While law enforcement is teaming up with banks and data specialists to chase trafficking, experts have cautioned that it can be a cat-and-mouse game in which traffickers quickly move on to new tactics to elude capture.
Also, less than 1 percent of the estimated $1.5 trillion-plus laundered by criminals worldwide each year through the financial system is frozen or confiscated, according to the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime.
Along with IBM and Western Union, participants include Europol, Europe’s law enforcement agency; telecommunications giant Liberty Global; and British banks Barclays and Lloyds, organizers said. (VOA)