Telangana

Six Indian States sign Declaration of Intent to combat human trafficking

Women and Child welfare representatives from six Indian States sign an Inter-State Declaration of Intent to work in collaboration to combat human trafficking.

Women and Child welfare representatives from six Indian States sign an Inter-State Declaration of Intent to work in collaboration to combat human trafficking. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Women and Child welfare representatives from six Indian States — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, and Telangana — signed an Inter-State Declaration of Intent to work in collaboration to combat trafficking in persons.  

The first of its kind agreement focusses on joint efforts on intelligence gathering and sharing; legal and witness protection; and rehabilitation and care for survivors. The declaration concluded the two-day Regional Consultation to Combat Human Trafficking, which was hosted by Telangana government in collaboration with non-profits Prajwala and Shakti Vahini. The U. S. Consulates General in Hyderabad and Kolkata supported the conference. 

Sunitha Krishnan, founder of Prajwala said that the problem of human trafficking in India is mostly inter-State or intra-State. “The need for cooperation between States in counter trafficking efforts is the need of the hour. This consultation under the able leadership of the Telangana government has paved the way for the best course of action in the Indian context to combat human trafficking,” she said.

The Regional Consultation to Combat Human Trafficking took place on July 1 and July 2. It brought together 36 high-level functionaries from Departments of Women and Child Welfare/Social Welfare; Home Department; State Women’s Commission; State Children’s Commission; State Legal Services Authority; as well as the respective State Ministers from Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, and Tamil Nadu. 

The consultation included panel discussions and presentations by senior police officers, prosecutors, members of the judiciary, cyber-crime professionals and survivor advocates, providing a forum for sharing of knowledge and evolving a way forward.  The U. S. government partnered with State governments to organise the series of consultations to bring together State-level stakeholders, including government Departments, legal services, law enforcement, child protection and prosecution agencies to ensure convergence in response mechanisms and strengthen interstate collaboration between source and destination agencies. 

Rishi Kant, the co-founder of Shakti Vahini said, “we are already witnessing an increase in cases since COVID-19 restrictions were eased. The fears expressed by international agencies and the United Nations are proving to be true. The need of the time is that civil society organisations should strengthen vigilance mechanisms in source and destination areas.”

“We should step up prevention initiatives and ensure interstate cooperation between agencies so that rescued victims are provided all support with respect to their repatriation and rehabilitation,” Mr. Kant said. 

Public Affairs Officer of the U. S. Consulate General Hyderabad, David Moyer said Working together to end all forms of human trafficking is a key pillar of the U. S.-India partnership. “We are energised by the anti-trafficking ecosystem and new partnerships and networks that will work together on research, inter-State-collaboration and advocacy for more effective laws,” he said.


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Printable version | Jul 2, 2022 7:19:23 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/telangana/six-indian-states-sign-declaration-of-intent-to-combat-human-trafficking/article65592151.ece