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Nearly 20,000 women and children were victims of human trafficking in India in 2016, a rise of almost 25 per cent from the previous year.
Experts cited data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) at the opening day of the two-day International Anti-Human Trafficking Conference today, to show how traffickers lure thousands of people each year.
The conference, organised by the Kolkata Mary Ward Social Centre (KMWSC) and the Darjeeling Mary Ward Social Centre (DMWSC), aims at strengthening awareness about the crime and sharing best practices with like-minded NGOs and governments.
Among those who attended the event included Ananya Chakraborti, chairperson, West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, and Bruce Bucknell, British Deputy High Commissioner in Kolkata.
Survivors of trafficking from the United States, Bangladesh and India will also share their experiences during the conference.
A number of speakers deliberated on topics ranging from trends in human trafficking to how cybercrime was affecting the lives and safety of young children and women.
The event also coincided with the celebration of 175 years of the Loreto Congregation in India.
Speaking on the occasion, Anita Maria Braganza, president KMWSC, said, "With this conference, Loreto in South Asia is taking its role a step further, drawing on the strength of networking and adding their voice to individuals, civil society, NGOs and governments who work for this cause.