Kochi

‘Children trafficked to Kerala being furnished with fake IDs’

Minister for Finance and Law K.M. Mani addressing a workshop on human trafficking in Kochi on Saturday. Photo: Vipin Chandran

Minister for Finance and Law K.M. Mani addressing a workshop on human trafficking in Kochi on Saturday. Photo: Vipin Chandran  

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Children from other States who are being trafficked to Kerala are being given fake Aadhaar cards that show them as residents of Kerala, DIG S. Sreejith, chief investigation officer of the State Human Rights Commission, has said.

He said children were taken from their homes and brought here to be exploited in various ways. Fake documents made the children vulnerable to further exploitation, he added. He was speaking on ‘Human trafficking and child rights’ at a workshop on human trafficking organised by the Kerala High Court Advocates’ Association and National Human Rights Commission in Kochi on Saturday.

P.M. Nair, chair professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences and former Director General of the National Disaster Response Force, said that as of 2011, over one lakh children had been reported missing in the country. About 33,000 of missing children remained untraced, he said, highlighting the scale of human trafficking operations in the country.

Mr. Nair said video conferencing facility should be made available for victims who have been trafficked over long distances to give statements in court. Focus should be on rehabilitating the victims and taking them back home if they wanted to as soon as possible. It would be easier for them to give their statements through videoconferencing rather than come back to the place where they were taken forcibly.

The inaugural day of the two-day workshop also featured a discussion on ‘human trafficking and women’s rights’ by Meena Kuruvilla, member of the State Commission for Protection of Child Rights.

Justice Ashok Bhushan, judge of the High Court of Kerala, inaugurated the workshop. He called upon all citizens to work together to combat human trafficking. Minister for Law and Finance K.M. Mani delivered the presidential address. He said the government would study the recommendations that would come out of the workshop and take necessary action.

Justice Cyriac Joseph, member of the National Human Rights Commission, said people held many misconceptions regarding trafficking. “Trafficking can be curbed only with the combined work of law enforcement agencies, lawyers, and judges,” he said. Advocates, law students, and professors of law attended the workshop on the first day.

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Printable version | Dec 14, 2019 3:12:06 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Kochi/children-trafficked-to-kerala-being-furnished-with-fake-ids/article6206102.ece

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