Human trafficking is a two-way racket in Tamil Nadu, with women and children being brought to the state from the northeast and Odisha, and women from here being abducted and sold to pimps in Mumbai and Delhi, says a report on human trafficking by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime.
Many children from the state are abducted and sent to Kerala and other states, where they are put to work.
The illegal trade in humans has become organised, with gangs establishing links across the country. The anti-human trafficking unit in July 2012 exposed an elaborate network involved in trafficking women for prostitution, which stretched from Darjeeling inWest Bengal to Delhi and Dindigul.
Many of the women and children are taken from Cuddalore, Villupuram, Madurai and other southern districts. They are sold into prostitution or for menial labour. Gangs entice poor families from villages to sell their children for adoption in cities like Chennai and Coimbatore and force them into organised begging.
“Four years ago, someone I know offered me a contract as a bar dancer in Mumbai. I could not continue after a point because I earned too little and had been forced into prostitution,” said 28-year-old Sowmya *, a mother of two from Chennai.
Mumbai assistant commissioner of police, social service branch, Firoz Patel said women from TN are often forced into prostitution. “Whenever we receive information about a woman being forced into prostitution, we try to rescue them. We help the woman come out of the trade and marry someone.”