‘Protection from moneylenders will reduce human trafficking’

Activists urge govt. to enact stringent laws

July 31, 2021 12:49 am | Updated 12:49 am IST - Vijayawada

Vimukti, a State-level forum of sex workers and survivors of human trafficking operating in the anti-human trafficking field, and an Ongole-based NGO called Help, have urged the State government to take steps to bring in legislation to keep a check on private moneylenders in the State.

Vimukti and Help organised a meeting with various stakeholders in connection with World Day Against Trafficking in Persons, here on Friday.

On the occasion, the speakers expressed the view that there were no effective laws to deal with the menace of private moneylenders. “Women are being subjected to trafficking by private moneylenders in the absence of stringent laws. Women in combined Andhra Pradesh got some protection from micro financiers as the then government had enacted the Andhra Pradesh Micro Finance Institutions (Regulation of Money Lending) Act 2011. Similar steps should be taken to protect the people from private moneylenders,” they said.

The State government should take steps to provide bank loans to the survivors of trafficking. The government can form self-help groups of the survivors to provide bank loans so that they can look for alternative income sources. Also, the victims should not be kept at shelter homes for a long time in the guise of rehabilitation. Instead, they should be given community-based rehabilitation. Steps should be taken to reunite them with their families. The village panchayats should give them necessary protection, they added.

Vimukti State convener Meherunnisa, co-convener Pushpavati, leaders Rajani, Apoorva, Durga, Help Director N.V.S. Ram Mohan and others spoke.

National consultation

Officials of various State and Central government departments, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and child rights activists in unison stressed the need for passing the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021.

About 1,000 speakers participated in the national-level virtual consultation on ‘Elimination of Human Trafficking’ organised by Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF), in association with various government departments and NGOs.

Child Rights Advocacy Foundation (CRAF), AP State Program Director, P. Francis Thambi, who participated in the virtual meeting from the State, said civil society played a vital role in preventing human trafficking.

Mr. Francis stressed the need to strengthen Village Child Protection Committees, Anti-Trafficking Committees and Child Friendly Villages, which enhance community participation to curb the menace and urged to focus on prevention of trafficking.

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