In an effort to address the issue of educational/economic rehabilitation of trafficked persons, non-government organisation Centre for Social Research earlier this week announced that it would be conducting State-level workshops. These workshops will include need-assessment surveys aimed at finding appropriate job/vocational opportunities in the corporate world and business houses for rescued/vulnerable women with support from the Bureau of Police Research and Development.

Andhra Pradesh and Odisha have been taken up for the pilot intervention in the first phase of programme implementation. A web portal will also be developed to connect the trafficking survivors directly to job providers and also to opportunities for educational as well as vocational skill development.

The workshops are being organised in collaboration with the Institute for Social Development, Bhubaneswar, Odisha, and Prajwala, Hyderabad and Andhra Pradesh.

Need for long-term solutions

Centre for Social Research director Dr. Ranjana Kumari said: “Although there have been tremendous efforts in preventing and combating human trafficking, a huge void exists in the economic rehabilitation of the rescued persons. There are several non-government organisations in India and the South Asian countries who undertake interventions for empowerment of the rescued persons. The interventions include counselling, need assessment, capacity building, facilitation for employment, etc. However, these efforts are ad hoc and do not provide long-term rehabilitation to those rescued.’’

``The workshops are aimed at providing a forum for assessing the needs and aspiration of trafficking survivors and connecting them to suitable corporate and business houses either for jobs or for educational and skill development,’’ added Dr. Kumari.

AP, a high supply zone

In terms of human trafficking, Andhra Pradesh has been reported to be one of the source areas of trafficking of human beings for various forms of exploitation. Particularly, coastal Andhra Pradesh is identified as a high supply zone for recruitment and transiting women from other States, noted Dr. Kumari.

Women and girls are trafficked to Mumbai, Kolkata, Goa, Chennai, and Odisha and within the State for prostitution, marriage, and cheap labour. Stating that there are also reports that indicate some employment avenues have been generated for the rescued victims, a release issued by CSR noted that these avenues are limited in reach as they only hire persons with particular skills and qualifications.

“Many other employable victims who lack these skills and the needed qualification thus remain unemployed. A major component of rehabilitation involves financial independence of the rescued persons so that they do not fall back into the web of trafficking. Educational and economic rehabilitation of trafficked persons will make them more self-reliant,’’ said Dr. Kumari.

Although there have been tremendous efforts in combating human trafficking, a huge void exists in the economic rehabilitation of rescued persons.

Dr. Ranjana Kumari

Director Centre for Social Research