State Planning Board member Mridul Eapen has called for greater surveillance by the community and the authorities to check trafficking in women and children.
Speaking at a seminar on ‘Trafficking and violence against women and children in Kerala' organised by the Alliance Francaise here on Sunday, Dr. Eapen said the patterns of trafficking were changing, resulting in much of what was happening on the ground escaping the notice of society and authorities.
Attributing the problem of trafficking in women to their dependent status in families, Dr. Eapen said that poorer women were more vulnerable than their affluent counterparts to trafficking.
She also regretted the absence of any talk about the ‘clients.'
She said trafficking in women to some of the Gulf States was quite disturbing. “We know which are the destinations and the vulnerable areas. What we need to do is to find out ways to prevent it,” she said.
Participating in the discussion, Deputy Commissioner of Police C.H. Nagaraju said that of the 450 cases registered under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act in the capital, 350 were against women victims and only the remaining against men who had induced them into such activities.
One handicap in checking the menace was that the police was not receiving prompt complaints about the menace, partially because people were generally worried about the trouble they would have if they got involved in such things and partially also due to the insensitivity among sections of the police personnel about such matters, he said.