Experts from different parts of the country got together to discuss the legal framework regarding issues of human trafficking in the city on Saturday. The two-day national consultation on ‘Anti-trafficking – strategies and roadmap to address issues’ which began on Saturday is being organised by the Human Rights Law Network, Kerala, and supported by the U.S. Consulate, Chennai.

The meeting became a forum for activists, social workers, and legal experts to discuss the issues surrounding the policies and national and international anti-trafficking law. The inaugural address of the meet was delivered by Lissy Jose, member of the State Women’s Commission. Dr. Jose highlighted the issues of human trafficking in Kerala.

Talks held later during the day examined human trafficking from various perspectives. Indrani Sinha, who established Sanlaap, an organisation in Kolkata that works to protect the rights of women and children, spoke on the human rights concerns around human trafficking. She said that victims of trafficking were up against money power and criminal conspiracy. Agents of trafficking treated the victims as commodities and tried to exploit them as much as possible, she said.

The discussions highlighted that human trafficking accounted for a large share of all illegal trade across the globe. The sessions also brought out the legal issues faced by organisations trying to rehabilitate persons who have been trafficked, especially across national borders.

M.P. Antony, director of Rajagiri Outreach, gave an overview of the human trafficking situation in Kerala. The meeting raised the issue of violation of human rights when migrant labourers are trafficked across State borders. Other eminent speakers at the meeting discussed issues of rehabilitation, the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, reproductive rights violations, and sensitisation. Those who suffered human trafficking are victimised at several levels, the meeting noted. Victims of trafficking are taken out of their homes and denied all human rights, privacy, and access to justice.

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