New Software to Benefit Police Catch Human Traffickers

New software for police could transform the fight against human trafficking in northeast India and speed up cross-border studies with Bangladesh and Myanmar.
Police in six Indian states now have access to the Impulse Case Info Centre software, which provides new ways of sharing intelligence, accessing a database of wanting traffickers and getting updates on cases. Information about human trafficking in India rose by 25 percent compared to the earlier year, with northeast states such as Assam reporting the maximum number of minor girls being trafficked, according to government data.
Years of ethnic clash in many parts of the northeast have made it a trafficking hotspot, campaigners say, totaling that the region is a source, destination and transit point.  Sanjeevan Devnath of the start-up DFM Info Analytics said it took two years to advance and fine tune the software.
“The biggest task was the aspect that our customers were going to be policemen, many of whom had never operated with a computer before,” Devnath told.  Salomi Thommy of the charity Instinct, that worked with Devnath to improve the system, said it can provide detailed information such as profiles of traffickers.
“The best feature is the prepared mechanism that states investigators if there are other cases listed involving the same trafficker they are looking for,” Thommy added.
Thousands of people, typically from poor rural areas, are taken to India’s cities every year by gangs who sell them into bonded labour or employ them out to unscrupulous employers.
Many end up as domestic workforces or labourers in brick kilns, roadside restaurants and embroidery workshops. Many women and girls are vended into brothels. The software connects India’s northeastern states with anti-trafficking units in Myanmar and Bangladesh, fast-tracking cross-border investigations.  Devnath and his team collated the figures on trafficking cases, edifice a database of traffickers, the routes they frequently use and the susceptible people they target.  “We have been able to unravel many cases by logging into this system,” Yankeela Bhutia, head of the anti-trafficking unit in Sikkim added. “Many traffickers are crisscrossing the borders in the region and this scheme makes it easy to track them.”

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