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Survivors of child trafficking make an earnest appeal to Government and the Judiciary to frame a comprehensive law to end human trafficking

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New Delhi, 27 March. Survivors of child trafficking, who have been victims of child sexual abuse, prostitution and child slavery appeal for a “comprehensive law” to end the abominable practice of human trafficking at the recently concluded two-day “National Consultation to Combat Human Trafficking” at The Ashok Hotel, New Delhi. The two-day national consultation was organized by Shakti Vahini with technical support from National Commission for Protection of Child Rights and in partnership with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF), Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), India Child Protection Fund (ICPF) and Prajwala.

In their written appeal, the survivors have sought active intervention of all stakeholders like – Government organisations, judiciary, civil society organisations, funding agencies, community groups and individuals to come together and take collective action to fight the menace of human trafficking. Besides appealing for a comprehensive law against human trafficking, the survivors have demanded their rights of having Aadhar card, Pan card, Voter card, Ration card and linkage to other government sponsored schemes. The appeal also includes engagement of trafficking survivors to utilize their experience in the fight against the menace, sufficient funding to fight human trafficking, reservation of seats in elections for people working to protect child rights and fighting against human trafficking. Additionally, the appeal includes large scale public awareness campaigns of the crime, educating all boys and men on the ill-effects of human trafficking and to recognise different forms of trafficking and its adverse impact on the victims and to ensure adequate compensation for the victims. The survivors also have appealed to frame specific laws to regulate the placement agencies who lure innocent children and women into child labour, prostitution and child slavery.

Highlighting the role of the placement agencies in human trafficking at the two-day consultation, Chairperson of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Priyank Kanoongo said, “In India placement agencies play a very crucial role in enabling cases of human trafficking. We need to reach out to the state governments to create and implement legislations for regulation of placement agencies in the country.” He further said, “We are trying to ensure that the subject of child rights is included in competitive exams in India. Every government officer should be trained in the subject of child rights.”

Appealing to Hon’ble Prime Minister, Priyank Kanoongo said, “Our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has called to create Vibrant Border Villages. We will be creating villages where child rights are protected & not abused.”

Speaking at the two-day consultation, Trisha Roy, a survivor of trafficking said, “We need access to proper mental health facilities, which is not provided to us when we are rescued. We are never at fault but yet people treat us like we are the perpetrators. Every day is a challenge for us, to fight for our rights. We need speedy court trials to ensure that the traffickers were prosecuted for the crimes committed by them.”

Another trafficking survivor, Naziya Begum said, “When we are rescued, we want the law enforcement authorities to understand the trauma that we have been subjected to and to treat us with respect. After we are rescued, we are already scared of the way the society and our family would treat us. We need the officers to be sensitized to treat trafficking survivors sensitively and ensure proper support once they are rescued.”

A trafficking survivor from Bihar, Mohd, Chhotu said, “Access to proper rehabilitation schemes is very essential for us. When we are trafficked, we are continuously exploited by the traffickers. They keep scaring us about the cruel ways in which we would be treated by the police, if we would ever approach them for help. Because of these things, we always hesitate to share the trauma we were subjected to, right after we are rescued. For us having access to freedom is very important.”

The two-day consultation was inaugurated by Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi along with other key dignitaries including Rupali Banerjee Singh, Member Secretary, National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), Rekha Sharma, Chairperson, National Commission for Women (NCW) and Sanjay Chander IPS, Director General of Police, Railway Protection Force. The national consultation saw the convergence of all stakeholders including government agencies, over 200 senior representatives of civil society organisations working against human trafficking and intensively exchanged ideas and solutions to fight human trafficking, emerging challenges posed by newer modes of trafficking including Cyber-trafficking and ensuring access to justice for victims. It emerged out of the two-day national consultation that a tough law is the need of the hour as demanded by the survivors and Nobel Peace Laureate Kailash Satyarthi to fight against the rising human trafficking.

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