Tamil Nadu

First responders to human trafficking need to be recognised, says IJM

With the focus this year on first responders to human trafficking, the International Justice Mission has underscored the need to recognise, laud and replicate the important role played by them throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

On the occasion of the World Day against Human Trafficking, Merlin Freeda, Director of Operations, IJM, said that the first responders identify, support, counsel and seek justice for victims of trafficking, and they have continued to work despite the restrictions imposed during the pandemic.

A survey by Jan Sahas, an NGO in New Delhi, revealed that of the 3,200 informal workers who were walking back home to their villages from cities they had been working in, nearly one-third of them had loans to repay and feared that their inability to repay debts could see them subjected to some form of violence. With schools being closed, children are more susceptible to trafficking.

While Tamil Nadu has been taking measures to protect migrants from exploitation during the pandemic, the IJM called for additional steps to be taken, including following the MHA advisory on combating human trafficking.

Speaking about the way forward for Tamil Nadu, Ms. Freeda said that while anti-trafficking units are already functioning in many districts in the State, they need to be notified with officers. “Exclusive anti-trafficking units need to be set up and the convergence of various departments is needed, especially at a time of crisis,” she said.

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Printable version | Jan 19, 2021 9:05:18 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/tamil-nadu/first-responders-to-human-trafficking-need-to-be-recognised-says-ijm/article32226396.ece

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