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“WORKING TOGETHER TO COMABT

HUMAN TRAFFCIKING”
A TWO DAY CONCLAVE

by

SHAKTI VAHINI

In association with

US CONSULATE , KOLKATA

and

BANGLA NATAK
PROGRAM SCHEDULE

12 May 2017 Friday

08:00AM- Registrations
9:00AM

09.00 AM-09.45AM Opening Inaugural Session- Ashoka Hall


Short Video on previous Conclaves
Introductions by Greg Pardo, Asst. Public
Affairs Office, US Consulate Kolkatar
Lighting of the Lamp
Consul General Craig Hall , US Consulate
Kolkata
Shri Vijay Prakash, Hon’ble Minister for
Labour Government of Bihar (Key Note
Address)
Smt. Kumari Manju Verma, Hon'ble Minister
for Samaj Kalyan Government of Bihar (Key
Note address)

09.45AM- 10.30 India’s Response to Human Trafficking &


AM Forced Labour - Actions Initiatives and
the Comprehensive Anti-Human
Trafficking Legislation
Shri Yashwant Jain, National Commission for
Protection of Child Rights
Shri Arun Sobti, Under Secretary, Ministry of
Home Affairs, Government of India
Shri Ajay Kumar Singh, Under Secretary,
Office of DGLW, Ministry of Labour &
Employment, Government of India
Moderator: Ravi Kant, President, Shakti
Vahini

10.30 AM-10.45AM TEA BREAK


10.45AM-11.30AM State Responses and Law Enforcement
Responses to Combat Human Trafficking
& Child Labour
Shri Imamudin Ahmad, Director, Social
Welfare. Government of Bihar
Shri Sujit Kumar Roy, Jt. Labour
Commissioner, Government of Bihar
Ms Ananya Chakraborti, Chairperson, West
Bengal commission for Protection of Child
Rights
Shri BK Goel, Member State Commission for
Protection of Child Rights, Govt. of Haryana
Moderator: Shri Rakesh Senger, Project
Director, Bachpan Bachao Andolan

11.30AM- 12.30PM Combatting Human trafficking –


Challenges at the Indo Nepal Border
Ms Ruchika Angela Nigam, Project Officer
Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of
Migrants , UNODC South Asia
Shri Bal Krishna Pandey, Maiti India
Shri Pramod Pukhrel, Shakti Samuha
Sh. Shanta Kumar N Second in Command
Staff Officer Operations and INT, Frontier
Hqrs, Shastra Seema Bal, Patna,
Shri YK Gautam, Jan Jagran Sansthan-ATSEC
Bihar
Moderator- Shri Rajib Kumar Haldar, ECPAT

12.30 PM-13.30 PM LUNCH

13.30 PM-16.00 PM Parallel Learning the skills of Social Media-Ashok


Session-1 Hall
Manish Kumar, Program Manager & Principal
Trainer
Video Volunteers
https://www.videovolunteers.org/
13.30 PM-16.00 PM Parallel Access to Justice- Organizing Legal
Session-2 Professionals for Victim Support- Darbar
Hall
Simit Bhagat , Program Officer – Asia
Thomson Reuters Foundation TRUST LAW -
Thomson Reuters Foundation

http://www.trust.org/trustlaw/

Shri Manabendra Nath Mandal, ATSEC India

Shri Ravi Kant, President, Shakti Vahini

13.30 PM-16.00 PM Parallel Technological Tools to Combat Human


Session-3 Trafficking, Missing Children and Sexual
Abuse of Children- Chanakya Hall
Satyajit Ghosh , India Project Manager, PLAN
India
http://www.mcaconnect.org/
Online Child Sexual abuse, Indian Context –
Shri Rajib Kumar Haldar, Regional
Coordinator-South Asia –ECPAT
Shri Surinder Singh Mann, Chairperson, Child
Welfare Committee, Karnal

16.00 PM-16.15PM TEA BREAK

16.15PM-16.45 PM Special Session of the Sixth Anti


Trafficking In Persons Conclave
Consul General Craig Hall , US Consulate
Kolkata
Shri. Nitish Kumar, Honourable Chief
Minister, Govt. of Bihar
Session to be Moderated by Senior Journalist
Shri Jaishankar Gupta, executive Editor
Deshbandhu, President Press Association of
India

16.45 PM-17.45 PM Local Voices – Bihar


Ms Shilpi Singh, Director, Bhoomika Vihar
Shri Rizwanul Rehman, Tatwasi Samaj Nyas
,Purnea
Mr Ravi Shankar Tiwari, Assistant Director
Child Protection
Jitendra Kumar Singh, Sr.Manager Prayas
JAC
Shri Baidnath, Activist Jharkhand

19.30 PM- 21.00 Story Telling Programme & Networking


PM Dinner at the Hotel Maurya
Honouring Individuals for their
Exemplary Commitment to Combat
Human trafficking
For Lifetime Contribution to Combatting
Slavery and Human trafficking:
1. Shri Manbendra Nath Mandal, ATSEC
India
For Exemplary Efforts to Combat Human
trafficking
1. Sh. Chanchal Shekhar, IPS Inspector
General of Police, Frontier Hqrs,
Shastra Seema Bal Patna – For
Launching Vigorous Campaign across
the Indo Nepal Border in Bihar
2. Smt. Kumari Manju Verma, Hon'ble
Minister for Samaj Kalyan Government
of Bihar-For undertaking the Cluster
Based Approach to stop Retrafficking in
Vulnerable Villages in Bihar
3. Shri Vijay Prakash, Hon’ble Minister for
Labour Government of Bihar -For the
Innovative Child Labour Tracking
System in Bihar

13 MAY 2017 Saturday

09.00AM-10.00 AM Young -Voices -Changemakers


Moderator- Mr. Greg Pardo, Asst. Public
Affairs Office, US Consulate Kolkata
Ms Sadia Akhter Aurna
Founder & Executive Director at Daak
Foundation
Ms Anjali Singh, Radio Mirchi
Ms Gautam Gauri, Diksha Foundation

10.00AM-11.00 AM Raising Awareness and Changing


Society-Role of Media, Social Media as
Partners in Combatting Human Trafficking
Presentation by Ms Nita Bhalla,Thomson
Reuters on Thomson Reuters Foundation
Special Focus and Coverage on Ending
Modern Day Savery
Mr Sidarth Pandey , NDTV India
Mr Jaishankar Gupta, Editor ,Loksatta
Mr Sanjay Singh,Editor Panchayat Nama ,
Prabhat Khabar
Mr Pranab Kumar Choudhury ,Senior
Journalist , Patna
Ms Anwesha Bannerjee ,Ei Samay,Kolkatta

11.00 AM-11.15 TEA BREAK


AM

11.15 AM –12.30 Learnings of the Best Practices and


AM Community Outreach of the Trafficking
In Persons Caravan in Bihar ,West
Bengal and Jharkhand
Interactive gallery
Ms Ananya Bhattacharya, Director, Bangla
Natak

12.30 PM-12.45PM Closing Ceremony


• Mr. Ravi Kant, President, Shakti Vahini
• Mr. Greg Pardo, US Consulate Kolkata
The Way Forward & Vote of Thanks

12.45 PM-13.30 PM LUNCH


PREFACE

Shakti Vahini, NGO, in association with US Consulate, Kolkata and Bangla


Natak, organized a two day conclave on “Working Together to Combat
Human Trafficking” in Patna, Bihar on May 12 and 13, 2017. The sixth
Annual Anti Trafficking in Persons Conclave held at Hotel Maurya, was
attended by more than 200 dignitaries from New Delhi, Bihar, West Bengal,
Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Uttar Pradesh, Mumbai, Nepal, and delegates
from UNICEF and UNODC. The programme was aimed to harness the
intellectual and experiential potential of various Central, state depatrments,
agencies, institutions, law enfiorcement and civil society organizations, in
combating human trafficking. The partcipating members included
representatives from the Ministry of Home Affairs, Ministry of Labour,
Ministry of Women and Child Development, Social Welfare Department and
Transport Department of the Bihar Government. The luminous gathering
was highlighted by the appearance of the Hon. Chief Minister of the State
who passionately addressed the issue of human trafficking from and within
the state, along with the steps taken to decrease the vulnerability of women
and children, in exploitative conditions. The event marked the ceremonial
flag off, for initiating the discussion between US and India in addressing the
issue of human trafficking through collaboration between different
institutions, organizations, law enforcement agencies and civil society
organizations. The main objective of the two day conclave was to bring key
stakeholders such as NGOs, Government, business community, law
enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, legal establishments,
together to encourage exchange of information, create stronger networks,,
share best practices and increase cooperation in tackling the growing
menace of trafficking in persons.

The following report provides a detailed description of the sessions and


panel discussions that took place during the two day conclave.
Time: 9:00- 9:45 AM

Inaugural Session

The session began at 10 am with the lighting of the lamp by the Hon’ble
Minister of Labour Department, Government of Bihar, Mr. Vijay Prakash;
Minister of the Social Welfare Department, Government of Bihar, Mrs.
Manju Verma along with the Consul General, Mr. Craig Hall from the US
Consulate in Kolkata. The President of Shakti Vahini, NGO, Mr. Ravi Kant
gave the introductions, beginning with the organizing partner, US
Consulate, Kolkata which had given life to the pledge in the fight against
Human Trafficking, by bringing all the elementary stakeholders together for
three years in a row, for the 6th TIP Conclave in Patna. He invited the CG,
Mr. Hall to the podium to introduce the house to the agenda of the
Conclave.

Mr. Craig Hall, US Consul


General, Kolkata

Mr. Hall warmly greeted the


audience by expressing his
profound gratitude at the
gathering of local and national
activists, which is an
expression of solidarity
against human trafficking.
Human trafficking is a
worldwide phenomenon and a
scourge which affects, almost
the entire globe, rich and poor
countries alike. While India
has been amongst the worst
affected, this organized crime
has branched out to every
sphere to encompass aspects
of social phenomenon that
provide fodder for it to
flourish. The United States is
one such nation and it has
taken significant steps to
eradicate human trafficking
within the country and just like India, pooled in all of its resources to ensure
justice against the heinous offence. Both the nations exhibit similar
historical struggles, while sharing the common thread of being stellar
examples of the democratic system of governance. Both India and the US
have thus far established an unbreakable resolve to combat human
trafficking through laws, policies, schemes, collaborative understating,
sharing of intellect and experience, and have been making all possible
efforts to rope in the unshakeable will of all of its stakeholders whether it
be the government officials or the non-government machinery as civil
society organizations, to sustain the battle and see it to its logical end. At
the same time, India-US ties have experienced a dramatic shift from
criminology to victimology where extraordinary efforts have been made to
ensure justice to the victims and facilitate their journey to being survivors,
role models and respected citizens of our great nations. This Conclave has
brought many such people together for the 6th time, and now in Patna,
Bihar which is one of the states which has its fight laid out and has come
out to devise exemplary methods, combined with expert knowledge to
eliminate the problem. While the two days at Hotel Maurya will be packed
with panel discussions, Day 0, began with a Skype Session with a team led
by Doctor Bouche’ from Texas Christian University. The topic of discussion
was the development and utilization of new software which enabled the
team to create a rich and varied database of all prosecuted federal cases,
under Human Trafficking, in the US. The discussion ranged from the ability
of the software to be effectively replicated in India, its long term benefits
as well as it limitations, with the primary objective to create the repository
accessible to the public. The Skype session concluded on a positive note,
and paved the way for the two-day program.. In his own words, “in the
span of these two days, a host of interesting methods, in terms of
technology, communication and manpower used to tackle human trafficking
through awareness-raising will make their debut on this platform, for the
stakeholders to see, learn and gauge their effective implementation to be
improved upon in their own line of work, in their respective states. One
such is Video-Volunteers.org who will showcase the use to technology, and
its myriad unique ways to create a nexus to bridge the gap between
information and broadcasting. Lastly, Banglanatak.com is a group of
performers and artistes who will conclude their month-long journey in Patna
on the 13th of May having covered 19 districts across Jharkhand, West
Bengal and Bihar, performing street plays in vernacular languages, mimes
and skits, using several theatrical tools to disseminate information amongst
people in remote regions through storytelling and entertainment.” These
efforts demarcate us from the past, where we have moved on from apathy
and ignorance to active participation, smart work and inclusion of all
stakeholders, to prevent the problem from happening rather than find a
cure. There is increased knowledge about understanding the complexities
of the problem which has given way to hand holding and support systems
developing across the nation, to help survivors complete the perilous
journey to becoming one. Trafficking-in-persons is an issue that is centre
stage now, and the world has taken due notice. For some years now the
focus has shifted to providing all necessary protection to the victims,
decreasing vulnerability as well as prevent re-trafficking. The court
systems have evolved to handle such cases sensitively in a manner which
benefits the victims, most of whom are most disadvantaged, impoverished
and in desperate need for support and guidance. They have therefore,
expedited their processes and focused on rehabilitating the victims since
justice delayed is justice denied. The coming-together of minds and persons
working at all the levels dealing with human rights is a genuine expression
of a consensus which is ‘Injustice anywhere is Injustice Everywhere’. In
conclusion, the fight is ahead of us and Conclaves such as this are
remarkable as they stand testament to the milestones we have covered
and created in our combined efforts against the violation of human rights.
As the slogan of the Caravan rung soundly across state borders, so does
our resolve to protect the dignity of every human being. Be Alert. Raise
Alarm. Stop Human Trafficking.

Mr. VIJAY PRAKASH: Labour Minister, Government of Bihar

The Labour Minister took to the podium and started his speech with vigor
and passion. He said that Human Trafficking is an issue that plagues the
world and affects all, rich, poor and everything in between. It is the abject
and thoughtless violation of human rights at the expense of degradation
and complete disregard for another human being, their feelings, dignity,
life and aspirations. Bihar has the dubious distinction of suffering from the
problem of child labour. This is something that has existed for centuries
and has become acceptable as a social norm. Most of the so-called working
children are essentially victims of lack of care and protection that has
deprived them of their childhood. Their innocence has instead been
replaced with worries, doubt and an adverse mindset that is automatically
inimical to their personal growth, mental, psychological and physical. The
problem of Child Labor in Bihar and India has to be understood in its
entirety by doing a cause and effect analysis. While children have been
victimized through trafficking, across national and international borders,
much of it has been within state borders across the country. Almost every
household, even those belonging to senior officials and representatives of
the government have had children employed as servants or helpers. The
situation has persisted due to the collective apathy towards children hailing
from certain backgrounds who are immediately distinguished as having
earned or inherited employment or labor or hard work instead of love,
nurturing and nourishment meant for every child. The need of the hour is
a change in perception which values and treats every child irrespective of
his/her educational, social and background. Most of the children working in
dhabas, restaurants, construction sites, as domestic laborers, in hazardous
occupations have been abandoned, neglected, exploited and in the most
unfortunate cases started work to contribute to the family income, or to
pay off the family debt accumulated over the years. Child labor must
therefore be explained and understood from the perspective of bonded
labor which imprisons several thousand under slavery-like conditions; of
which children are the worst affected due to their tender age, vulnerability
and immaturity. The cause of such social practices lies in our mindset,
making it a social evil. A society with its rules and regulations aimed to
achieve a civilized way of life has no place for an ideology that accepts or
encourages child labor. While the change will take time, it has already
begun as is visible by the steps taken by governments across the globe and
in Bihar which formulated the State Action Plan for Abolition of Child Labour
in 2009. It aimed to understand the root causes which were consistently
responsible at several levels to keep such a practice alive, ranging from
social perceptions, poverty, abuse of vulnerability, illiteracy and caste
considerations. The Plan roped in all relevant departments such as Labour,
Transport, Social Welfare, Backward Castes and Classes, Health and
Education. These are essential to ensure that a child would get the
maximum benefit from state schemes especially under the constitutional
mandate that make the state responsible for the education and well-being
of every child. The Minister emphasized on the need to investigate the
established mindset for which one has to go to the grassroots to improvise
methods to create a safe environment for children. At the same time, steps
to fulfil the objective of complete abolition of child labour, should be
improved by raising awareness amongst the common public and making
them accountable for their actions, for their behavior and attitude towards
children. When such an issue is addressed in its entirety, it exposes not
only the causes but the adverse effects and the people who take undue
advantage of this flawed belief system. These are the agents, traffickers
and/or middlemen who facilitate the sale, purchase and exploitation of
children adding salt to the already festering wound of deprivation. It is the
evil of commercial exploitation of poverty and desperation that has to be
defeated, and the perpetrators be punished, with strict laws that express
the desire of the country, its legislature, government and the courts who
denounce such an evil, and all its manifestations. An investigative and
collaborative effort has to be made to rescue children already trapped in
the quagmire of social evils causing widespread collateral damage. At the
same time, parents must be made aware about the various law and existing
strategies employed and being adopted by the government to counter the
effects of child labour and child trafficking at every step of the way.

Bihar is the only state that has launched the State Action Plan focusing on
the elimination of child labour. It has declared an amount of Rs. 25,000/-
for the rescued child laborers. Apart from that, Rs. 3,000/- is designated
as interim payment to assist the child in the initial phases, with food,
clothing, shelter and other requisite facilities for immediate recovery and
needs of the child. The NCLP scheme has been consistently implemented
and improved significantly with its revised provisions in 2016. With these
words he concluded the speech and elucidated upon the need for such
gatherings to act as a point of contact for all stakeholders to strengthen
our response systems.

Mrs. KUMARI MANJU VERMA, Minister of Social Welfare


Department, Government of Bihar

Her opening lines left no doubt regarding setting the tone of her speech
which directly addressed the nature of human trafficking as being grave,
inhuman and unacceptable in today’s world which has come to recognize
itself as modern, forward and liberal with an inviolable, unshakeable belief
in the concept of equality, dignity and right to life bestowed upon everyone
equally, and without fail. It is therefore imperative that it be addressed
consciously keeping its elements in mind which are fuelled by the loopholes
in our own social systems. While certain practices have inherently been evil
and thus abolished, some have become part of the social psyche making it
difficult to recognize; such as inequality between genders, the position and
treatment of women, the deliberate ignorance of laws in favor of unlawful
and illogical social norms. Historically, India had been a relatively
progressive nation which regarded its women and men alike. Today, the
scenario is shameful as this ‘modern society’ exemplifies all characteristics
of inequality, oppression, slavery and apathy towards its most needy. While
the poor have suffered, the rich and the affluent have regressed into a
narrow mindset that excludes the development of everyone but their own.
Although, not everyone can be attributed with that mindset, the
responsibility lies on all because we are all part of the same society, bound
by the same rules, laws and regulations. Therefore, there should be no
room for such disparities. Nevertheless, our imperfections are more
pronounced today, as the vice of human trafficking has gripped the nation,
and victimized women and children over the years.

India was labelled as the land of gold and prosperity, before it was looted
and plundered by conquerors. It was bequeathed with ancient knowledge
and wisdom that was eroded as successive empires changed it,
consequently resulting in its identity as the land of diverse cultures, albeit
as a steep price. With the historical change in perspectives and moulding
of cultures, the position of women in society changed subtly, yet rapidly
before it came to resemble one where there was a stark difference between
the social role and identities of males and females. Women were deprived
of their individual right to decision making, ownership in property,
possession of land, right to be educated in disciplines akin to men, while
their position in marriage kept plummeting. The effect of such practices
created norms, so deeply rooted they continue to this day in severe forms.
As the status of women declined, their contribution to the society
decreased, which in turn effected generations, norms, social structures to
solidify a tilted belief system which treated its men and women differently.
Over the years, practices inimical to the concept of equality took hold,
wherein women were exempted from the need of representation. As home
makers, women are nurturers, child bearers, managers, teachers, and
bearers of social and family values to be passed on to generations. In the
absence of education and exposure, women are ill-equipped to conduct
evolutionary knowledge, understanding, and ideas to their offspring. The
situation is aggravated for the poor, uneducated, lower caste families or
those belonging to minority communities which lead to further
marginalization. Therefore, when women lose out on opportunities, it has
a direct effect on their offspring who rely heavily on their mothers, in their
tender, formative years. Moreover, it is only when the man is unable to
provide, do most women take up unskilled forms of employment in a world
which banks on, and values only skilled labour. Therefore, they experience
doubly jeopardy, i.e. the absence of skill due to lack of education and
awareness, and the responsibility of the family which compels them to work
in exploitative situations. The position of women has been so deeply
affected that even the society in its hypocritical outlook prefers boys over
girls knowing the pain, anguish and responsibility that comes with it, in the
form of burden of dowry, protection and fear because of the perils faced by
women in terms of safety and security. It is equally a matter of respect.
The fractures in our society have also resulted in the increase in crime
against women. Everyday news reports are rife with women being
subjected to horrific crimes of rape, sexual assault, harassment, domestic
violence, dowry death, torture and cruelty under the garb of relations to an
extent that our sympathy has been replaced with disdain and made us mute
spectators. All of these are reasons and problems that are galore with one
simple and effective solution in sight; women empowerment and education.
Illiteracy, unemployment and lack of education are massive loopholes that
must be plugged to improve the status of women and consequently the
country, its people, society and quality of life. When mothers suffer, so do
their children. If mothers are not educated and aware their children are
deprived of proper health care, caretaking and protection. A working
mother with no help and means of sustenance not only misses out on child
rearing, but also runs the risk of exposing her child to adverse elements as
well as becoming a potential victim herself. Several women have the same
story of poverty or abandonment or lack of support from spouse or family
that compelled her to take up jobs and positions that were unsuitable for
her and separated her from her family and kids, destroying the foundation
of a social structure. When such a situation becomes recurrent, it becomes
a problem and that’s what happened in India, and by extension Bihar.
Children, without the protection and guidance of parents become
vulnerable, to the evil designs of predators and traffickers who exploit them
for their vulnerability. Many parents in their desperate attempt to provide
for the family end up harming the children instead. For instance, having a
girl child puts enormous on the family as issues of marriage, division of
property, settlement, , dowry poison her options, even before she goes to
school. Child marriage is thus prevalent, and one of the driving factors of
human trafficking. Most times it is at great personal expense, as many
parents have sold their kids for money or in exchange for services that
would allow them a chance at survival. The sudden loss of innocence and
childhood causes trauma that affects millions, creating a vicious circle
claiming more victims in its wake. Agents usually target kids who have
experienced deprivation and are desperate to help their families. , They are
lured and put into unsuitable jobs with gruelling work hours.. Several
thousand children are trapped in bonded labor and forced labor conditions
due to these reasons inflicted by people who have vested interests.
Moreover, there is very little scope of accountability which emboldens
criminals to victimize children through trafficking done for labour, sexual
exploitation, marriages etc.

The Minister proposed for a change in policy, reforms and insisted on a


need for an MOU on the lines of those signed in West Bengal for Rescue,
Repatriation, Rehabilitation and Restoration that includes measures to help
victims have a new chance at life. Bihar suffers from gender inequality.
Such programs must address the issue, as well as promote gender
empowerment, skill development, family planning, to name a few. Women
form the pillars of a society. Their value and contribution should be
harnessed to its maximum potential. The Social Welfare Department of
Bihar has been working with NGOs to bring about that change on a bigger
scale with maximum reach and optimum output in the form of social
development. This has been reflected in the increased participation of
women at the higher echelons of several sectors, but a long way remains
to be covered. The Minister concluded by saying that despite the
gargantuan task, there is will and strength in numbers as is visible in the
participation of the gathering in Patna. Human trafficking is a crime, and it
must be punished as such, and no one must be victimized by it.
In concluding the introductory session before opening the house for Panel
discussions, Mr. Ravi Kant reiterated the views expressed by the political
leadership summarizing by saying that political will was critical to bringing
about change at the grassroots level. Change in governments should not
deter or deteriorate the will of the people in leading and continuing the fight
against human trafficking as individuals. The sentiment expressed in the
house, at the very beginning, denounces human trafficking at its core, in
all its forms and is a clarion call for collective effort, as the foremost weapon
to fight this organized crime. With this, the introductory session concluded
on a pledge and note of thanks to all participants.

Time: 9.45 AM -10.30 AM

Topic: India's Response to Human Trafficking and Forced labour -


Actions initiatives and the Comprehensive Anti - Human Trafficking
Legislations.

Resource persons:

• Shri Yashwant Jain, Member, National Commission for Protection of


child Rights, Government of India.
• Shri Arun Sobti, Under Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Govt of
India.
• Shri Ajay Kumar Singh Under Secretary, office of DGLW, Ministry of
Labour and Employment, Government of India.
• Shri Rajib Haldar, ECPAT International.

The session started with the welcoming of all the guest speakers on stage
followed by garlanding session. The talk was initiated by Mr. Yashwant Jain
which focused on the trafficking, its types and various ways to deal with it.
Mr. Yashwant Jain, member, National Commission for Protection of
child Rights, Government of India

He thanked Shakti Vahini and US Consulate for providing the platform


where all the child protection bodies, governmental and non –
governmental had the opportunity to interact and share their ideas,
opinions, suggestions and experiences to curb the trafficking issues from
its roots.

He further focused on Human Trafficking as an old problem which has been


practiced in different forms for forced marriage, organ trade, domestic
servitude, sexual exploitation, kidnapping, abduction, child labour etc. In
order to curb this heinous crime, laws have been enacted and civil societies,
NGO’s, government bodies are continuously striving to uproot the cause of
the issue and break the cycle of crime. He reiterated the points made by
Mrs. Kumari Manju Verma, Hon'ble Minister for Samaj Kalyan, Government
of Bihar on victims of trafficking, who are used as commodities whom one
can transport to different places without their consent. Treatment of
children and women as commodities is the ultimate violation of basic
fundamental rights. Each of the countries has their own way of dealing with
the issue and it’s different from the countries like America, Finland etc.
Therefore, understanding the issues in their own way, developing the
parameters and the indicators for consideration is very important and the
law, legislations alone is not going to solve the issue. To solve this issue,
enforcement of one comprehensive law is important which includes
networking and partnership with stakeholders in case of rehabilitation,
restoration, repatriation, rescue etc.

Ending his speech he mentioned that one needs to have commitment in


working towards the issue. Only then can one bring about a change. In
other words one needs to be loyal, dedicated and sincere while working.

Shri Arun Sobti,


under Secretary,
Ministry of Home
Affairs, Govt of
India

He started sharing
about the existing laws
and the provisions
related to trafficking
under the Ministry of
Home Affairs which
cover almost all
aspects of trafficking.
He portrayed the
problems i.e.
implementation of the
existing laws at the
ground level as
something to work
upon. He further
shared that no one can
work in isolation in the
field of trafficking
therefore networking
with the other states
and building partnerships is an essential to solving the problem. Through
interstate coordination, the information received can flow, be executed and
channelled in a proper manner.

He took the discussion to cross border trafficking. He reflected upon the


prevention of cross boarder trafficking; one way is through bilateral
agreements and MoUs with affected countries. By doing so, the network
and partnerships between countries would become strong to check
transnational trafficking, which is very much prevalent, as a global issue.
The other methods for prevention are trainings to the police departments,
transport departments, railway stations, airports etc. As these are the
major points, coordination with such departments, would contribute a lot
in breaking the criminal network as well punishing the offenders. As the
government bodies are always there, the role of civil societies and the
NGO's becomes vital. Moreover, organisations understand the issues and
its related concerns; which would make the response more effective and
result-oriented. For any of the assistance, they can contact the other
bodies as none can work in isolation.

Shri Ajay Kumar Singh Under Secretary, office of DGLW, Ministry of


Labour and Employment, Government of India.

Mr. Ajay Kumar Singh is has experience in handling cases of bonded labour
and rehabilitation. He thanked SV and all other government and non govt
bodies present. he stated that in India there are legislations, rules, schemes
and all the bodies are working hard to implement them. He mentioned the
Abolition of Bonded Labour Act Of 1976 which aims to prevent the physical
and the economic exploitation of the weaker sections of the people.

In order to assist the State government in the task of rehabilitation of


identified and released bonded labourers, a Centrally Sponsored Scheme
for Rehabilitation of Bonded labourers came into effect from May 2016. In
the particular scheme the financial assistance has been increased from
20,000 to one lakhs per adult male beneficiary, Rs. 2 lakhs for special
category such as children i.e. orphan children, children rescued from
organised and forced begging or other forms of forced child labour and
women and Rs. 3 lakhs in case of bonded or forced labour involving
transgender or women or children rescued from sexual exploitation such as
brothels, massage parlours, placement agencies or trafficking or in cases
of differently abled persons. If the bondage is proven one can receive
punishment for a maximum of 3 years along with a fine of Rs. 2000. Under
the scheme each state is allotted Rs 10 Lakhs, to spread awareness and 1
lakh for evaluatory process. Therefore, the implementation is very
important in which NGOs like Shakti Vahini play an important role.

As already mentioned above, the execution of the scheme at the ground


level and to prove the bonded labour within the time frame is very
important. 2016 compensation scheme is the landmark of Ministry of labour
in which prosecution is added. This commitment helps to fight against
human trafficking.

Shri Rajib Haldar, ECPAT


International.

He has been associated


with ECPAT organisation
which works in the areas of
protection of children. He
focused on the tools,
legislations and the work
done by Nobel laureate
Kailash Satyarthi in the
field of Child labour. He
mentioned that India has
best policies and
legislations but the main
problem is the
implementation. The
comprehensive laws are
needed which will cover
the3 P's i.e. Protection,
Prevention and
Prosecution. He also
mentioned the cross-border
trafficking for which inter-
country collaboration is
very important.

Thereafter he suggested some of the ways and allowed the audience to


reflect on the gaps in the existing laws and the work done so far. He gave
the example of Caravan which proves that we are inching closer to our
mission of curbing trafficking issue. In the same context, he mentioned that
for the next conclave, apart from the goals, one must also try to
accommodate most of the suggestions and opinions as well the
achievements. The session was followed by a question and answers round.

1. Why can't the punishment in regard to bonded labour be increased as


this is also one of the grievous crimes?

Ans: Persons committing this crime is fined up to Rs. 2000 fine and
maximum 3 years imprisonment which is difficult to enforce. If we increase
the imprisonment to 7 years then the implementation would be the
problem. In addition, if the victims don't receive the prescribed amount
then they have to be paid from the 10 lakhs given to each state under the
scheme of Rehabilitation of the bonded labour.

One of the participants shared an incident where they had rescued 27


children in bonded labour from a carpet industry. They went for the
compensation but have not received it yet. Then he enquired about the
situation in West Bengal. In this case one of the participants answered that
in order to qualify for compensation one has to present certain documents.
He was suggested to write to the SCPCR regarding the same.

Time: 11:00 to 11:30 AM

Topic: State responses and law enforcement responses to combat


human trafficking and child labour:

Resource person:

• Shri Imamudin Ahmad, Director, Social Welfare, Government of Bihar


• Shri Sujit Kr. Roy, Jt. Labour Commisioner, Government of Bihar
• Ms. Ananya Chakroborti, Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for
Protection of Child Right
• Shri BK Goel, Member state commission for protection of child rights,
Govt. of Haryana
• Moderator: Rokesh Sengar, Project Director, Bachpan Bachao
Andolan.

About the session: 3rd Session on 12-05-2017

The first speaker was Shri Rakesh Sengar. He started the discussion by
talking about Bihar, the civil societies, the media and the NGOs that are
working in the state. He stated that this is a platform where one can share
and learn from each other’s experiences. As social welfare department in
Bihar is working brilliantly, and in harmony with different sectors so Shri
Imamudin Ahmad Director, Social Welfare, Government of Bihar was
welcomed on stage to share his work with the audience.

Shri Imamudin Ahmad, Director, Social Welfare, Government of


Bihar.

Shri Imamudin Ahmad invited the audience to Bihar, and introduced himself
as the Director of Social Welfare, Bihar for three years. As an IRS , officer
with field experience, he spoke briefly about the role of Social Welfare
department to check Human Trafficking. He mentioned the repatriation of
children from Delhi, achieved through the involvement of Labour Resource
Department officers, CID and Social Welfare department. In Rajasthan, a
joint team from Bihar was sent to escort around 147 children from Bihar,
rescued from child labour residing in a shelter home. The government has
pooled its resources to work as a team, with the civil society, NGOs, media
and governmental bodies, trying to combat HT.

He gave a presentation on the best practices of Bihar Government, based


on the data of LRD level resource persons, which focused mainly on child
labour. He shared the NCRB data and stressed upon the need for reporting
issues surrounding children as they need more attention and focus. He
mentioned how UN convention describes Child Rights. If we look at the
population of children, at a global level it is 31%, in India, 37%; whereas
in Bihar it is 46% of total population.

Then he discussed recent trends in trafficking i.e. commercial sex, sexual


exploitation, organ trafficking, trafficking for forced marriages, trafficking
post marriage, kidnapping and trafficking of de-notified tribes. The increase
in data on trafficking may be due to more awareness and reporting of
incidents among different stakeholders.

Bihar is transit point and source state for trafficking as it shares borders
with Nepal, North East States and West Bengal. Traffickers use stations and
bus tops which are not very populated to transport children. The new
mechanisms like the ‘Track the Missing Child’ portal, through the
involvement of DCPU, JJB, CHILDLINE, have revealed that more than 3500
children are staying in child care institutions of other states. For this teams
have been constituted to verify the identity of children, provide counselling
and repatriate them back to their homes. There is more data since 2014-
2015, which is one of the reasons for increase in the numbers of missing
children. Out of school children have decreased, compared to previous
years which was 2.5% of the total population, and it has gradually
decreased to 1%. As we know out of school children are more prone to
Human Trafficking, but due to the concentrated efforts of education
department, LRD, and other governmental and nongovernmental agencies
the numbers have gone down. Gradually the children are getting enrolled
in schools and numbers of school dropouts are decreasing. All these
departments are working together to keep children in school. He shared the
data on child labour. 11.2% of child labourers in India are from Bihar which
is a lot more as compared to other states in India. Touching upon the forces
which are lead to Child Labour; there were districts like Gaya with huge
incidence. 80% of trafficked children for child labour are from the SC/ST
bracket.

Anti Human Trafficking committees are continuously working at state level.


At the location of their quarterly meetings, a special court for children is
set up (Bihar is one of the few states which has this court), with special
police headed by the DM, along with the DCPU and Special Juvenile Police
Unit. They have issued guidelines for Child Protection Committees and focus
on local government systems to reach the children at the grassroots level.
Parents are receiving counselling to generate awareness on the issues
related to trafficking of children. This is followed up by a discussion on the
protection issues of children. UNICEF supports the program, called ASTITVA
to make people aware of these issues. He shared data on district-wise
trafficking, through a comparative analysis of cases between 2001 and
2011, which indicated sharp decline due to change in the social scenarios.
There are special courts under ITPA, which also provide for appointment of
special police officer, DCPU and special juvenile police to deal particularly
with the juvenile cases. As juvenile are to be treated differently there are
provisions by the law, which are now being implemented by the Bihar
government.
In order to mobilize the common people against trafficking, the UN is
supporting Bihar to conduct awareness programs, and implement laws and
provisions related to HT. In order to fight this organized crime the
government is taking help from the NGO and other organizations to fight
against Human Trafficking.

Cluster Based Approach by organizing NGOs like UNICEF, Prayas,


Pratham, Justice and Care:
The priority is to protect trafficked children and reduce vulnerability to
prevent re-trafficking. Touching upon the ways how rescued children are
re-trafficked, he spoke of how to rehabilitate their families against the
perpetual poverty and illiteracy, which are the main reasons behind child
trafficking. Based on available data and information about places where
such kids are in plenty, they chose such cluster areas, families and children
to work with them to prevent HT. An NGO was allotted to each cluster,
where it worked to rehabilitate the families and children. A Task Force at
state level was created to rehabilitate the children.
As the families of trafficked children are poor and vulnerable, without the
ability to meet basic needs, chances of re-trafficking are high. As a
preventive measure, they are made aware of, to avail social welfare
schemes through policies (IAY, Job Cards, Health Card, Pension, etc.)
provided by the Government. Children up to 14 years are enrolled in school,
where their nutritional and educational needs are met. They are provided
vocational training as part of skill development, in LRD Centres, along with
compensation and stipend. This helps retain children, and up till now, 90%
of those trafficked and in child labour, have been retained. The branch is
working with six organizations under UNICEF (Cry, Save the Children,
Pratham, Prayas, Justice and Care, Justice Venture) for vulnerable children,
to increase access to social benefits. They have shown the impact by linking
it with livelihood package, pension, etc. The next step is to select the
districts to work to make it free from child labour and Human Trafficking.

Focusing on child labour, the Social Welfare Dept. has planned to create a
child friendly community, where all related schemes and benefits would be
provided to children. CHILDLINE services will be available in each district,
along with Child Protection Committees, mainly in the areas where the
Dept. has been working in an intensive manner. The Dept. had raised the
topic on establishment of railway CHILDLINE in major locations across
India. The Bihar government proposed to establish those in source states
for which they will install railway help desks at stations along with
CHILDLINE, with help of MWCD.
Apart from this, there are organizations working with/for women, issues
related to women, along with a helpline actively working in these districts.

Shri Sujit Kr. Roy, Joint Labour Commissioner, Government of Bihar

Shri Sujit Kr Roy, Jt. Labour Commissioner, Government of Bihar was


greeted on the stage, to talk about the new laws and schemes related to
labour laws and issues, therewith.

He elucidated upon Art. 23 of the Indian constitution. It criminalises human


trafficking as a punishable offence. Places like Katihar, Purnia, Darbhanga,
and Gaya are main source areas for trafficking, along with railway stations
that act as source and transit points. Today people are trafficked willy-nilly,
kept in inhumane conditions and treated as bonded labour. The main
reasons for trafficking are illiteracy and poverty. The state has taken steps
to check trafficking.

As an assistant labour commissioner in Gaya, he participated in a raid and


rescue, where around 125 labours from Gaya were trafficked. The parents
had been bribed (8000-1000) by the traffickers, so that their children could
be re-trafficked for labour. Parents are unaware of the dangers their
children are getting into. There are central and state welfare and protection
schemes and benefits, along with governmental and non-governmental
organizations, committed to fighting trafficking. The Bonded Labour Act is
being implemented to punish traffickers, through prolonged imprisonment,
without bail provisions.

They have rescued almost 1900 bonded labours (child and adult) from
2011-12 to 2014-15, and victims were given compensation (of Rs.10,000)
along with other benefits provided by the state government. Children are
monitored so that they don’t return or become re-trafficked. He also
mentioned the amount given to these victims. A rescued child is provided
with 1 month rations, clothing, shelter, medicines and ticket fare, and any
manner of instant relief. Rs. 5083 is given by central Government and Rs.
20,000 is taken as compensation amount from the accused (the amount is
saved in Child labor rehabilitation welfare fund). This amount is now more
than Rs. 5 lakhs, and with added interest amount, is to be used in victim
assistance.

The amended Child Labour Act of 2015, known as Child Labour and
Adolescent Prohibition Act, prohibits laborious work, in hazardous
environments. However, the schedule lists only 2 industries as hazardous
for work by adolescents, a number that must be expanded to include more
industries to prevent exploitation. Under the new scheme for bonded labour
rehabilitation, each and every district chit fund is provided; for which the
Bihar government has sent Rs. 10 Lakhs each. This is done, so that
immediate assistance can be provided to the victims.
Mr. Rakesh Senger reiterated the importance of convergence, for efficient
and effective working of these bodies to prevent trafficking.

Ms. Ananya Chakroborty, Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for


Protection of Child Rights (WBCPCR)

Ms. Ananya Chakroborty, (Chairperson, WBCPCR) was welcomed on stage


to share some ideas about the monitoring methods, challenges and best
practices of the Bengal Govt.

According to her, reasons for trafficking need to be addressed to resolve


the main problem, as it’s not just poverty, but other vulnerabilities. The
push factors of these vulnerabilities are domestic violence, dysfunctional
family, etc. So, one of the first steps against trafficking is to improve the
quality and stability of family life, that will challenge patriarchy, and
domestic violence. It is believed that violence in the family is learnt from
childhood, termed as educational values. Women are taught to stay calm
and withstand atrocities, which is the root cause of the problem. So, the
WB government and SCPCR have started by working with the Syllabus
Committee. Through this, elementary level school books are being
modified. Often, there is a picture of a mother doing household work, such
as cooking, pouring tea, as opposed to the father with a briefcase, working
in an office and enjoying tea on a table while reading the newspaper. The
stereotypical roles have been deeply engraved in one’s psyche which has
to be broken, with role reversal. Perceptions formed since childhood
suppose women to be serving, being dutiful, while men give orders and
commands. Changing this situation by balancing the power differential
Bengal also shares the international borders, with Nepal, Bangladesh and
Bhutan, which makes the area vulnerable to trafficking, as a transit
location.

Some noteworthy schemes like Kanyashree, Sabuj Sathi (cycle for the girl
student), Swabhalamban scheme (vocational/skill development training),
Mukti Alor scheme (new scheme for the sex workers to come out of the
profession), have been instrumental in helping in trafficked victims and
survivors. The key areas that need to be handled to deal with trafficking
are:

1. Prevention (Need to create new social structures, break old ones of


patriarchy, domestic violence, property rights etc.)
2. Prosecution (In most cases traffickers get bail and abscond, whereas
trafficked victims languish in shelter homes or even face prosecution;
so there’s a need to improve practices of prosecution so that victims
don’t face hardships to get justice. If this is the case then the person
won’t come forward to prosecute, stay silent and embolden the
offender.)
3. Rehabilitation. Govt. is working with homes. One model concept is that
of Liluah, where girls are learning, while rehabilitation is being provided,
so that restart their lives.
Shri BK Goel. Member, State Commission for Protection of Child
Rights, Govt. of Haryana. (HSCPCR)

First, he addressed the audience and panellists and thanked them for their
enlightening speeches. He also thanked Shakti Vahini family and US
Consulate, and addressed the audience members. He expressed his desire
to learn things to use in Haryana. He felt that figures are not very important
and instead wanted to ask questions. He felt honoured to be working for
children and blessed to be associated with such an audience.

Identification of Traffickers: It is important to get in-depth analysis of


traffickers, their motivations, connections and driving factors, who may
even be connected to the family. For the victims they are well-wishers and
angels who provide a way out of the poverty.

AHTU: The unit needs strengthening to work properly. One initiative is


started in Haryana where a demand for an SSB level officer in AHTU has
been placed. Currently, AHTUs are not functioning properly, despite
massive potential.

Sensitization: As we know sensitization is very important, and one needs


to Understand CAT.
C for Coordination (to improve coordination within stakeholders)
A for Answerability (to monitor actions and be accountable)
T for technology (The tool of the 21st century)

Skill development: Once a person is skilled their chances of trafficking


reduce significantly. After rescue, skill development is important so that
victims don’t lapse into the same position of vulnerability.
Good practice: There are 22 districts in Haryana, of which 3 districts have
16 child friendly villages. These centres act as sources from where any
cases of child right violations and related issues are provided by the
Sarpanch and mailed to the SCPCR every day .

Time: 11: 30 PM to 12: 30 PM

Topic: Combating human trafficking – Challenges at the Indo Nepal


Border.

Resource Persons:

• Ms Ruchika Angela Nigam, Project Officer: Trafficking in Persons and


Smuggling of Migrants, UNDOC South Asia.
• Shri Bal Krishna Pandey, Maiti India
• Shri Pramod Pukhrel, Shakti Samuha
• Shri Shanta Kumar N Second in Command Staff Officer Operations
and INT, Frontier Hqrs, Shastra Seema Bal, Patna
• Shri YK Gautam, Jan Jagaran Sansthan – ATSEC Bihar

Moderator – Shri Rajib Haldar, ECPAT

Ms Ruchika Angela Nigam, Project Officer: Trafficking in Persons


and Smuggling of Migrants, UNDOC South Asia.

She congratulated Shakti Vahini and US consulate for organizing the


program and thanked the audience for their patience in listening to the
program. She said, “I am going to speak on combating human trafficking
at the Indo-Nepal border, its effects, and the situation along Indo –
Bangladesh border. First, I would like to tell you about the practice of
UNDOC. It is working on five thematic areas, which are:

1. Organize crime and trafficking


2. Corruption
3. Crime prevention and criminal justice reform
4. Drug prevention
5. Health and terrorism
UNDOC through its regional South-Asia office covers six countries i.e. India
Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Maldives and Sri Lanka. Its key mandates come
from United Nations against Transnational Organized Crime and its
protocols. India has already ratified the Convention, but others’ ratification
is awaited. UNDOC monitors and tackles different types of organized crime,
which are as follows: Drug trafficking, human trafficking, Smuggling of
migrants, Wild life and forest crime, Marriage crime and cybercrime.

UNODC is working on safe border project to combat trafficking across


international borders, for which Nepal and Bangladesh governments have
been roped in, as trafficking is prevalent along the borders, making the
situation harmful for migrants crossing for myriad purposes. A 3 years
project called ‘Strengthening protection provision in the three countries in
prevention of human trafficking’ was launched in 2014, to strengthen the
resources available for trafficked victims in a across border issue. The main
focus is steps to be taken to provide immediate assistance to the trafficked
victim, at the border. The next step is to identify places from where
trafficking is taking place very frequently.

The main objective of the project was:


1. To establish and Strengthen the referral and protection mechanism
in the cross border trafficking
2. Design and implement measures to prevent cross border trafficking
3. To improve cross border relation

It is undeniable that repatriation takes time and has been identified as a


major concern. People who work in and with shelter homes know the
difficulties in repatriation, which arise out of lack of identification, long
pending cases, lack of timely government intervention and many more.
Prosecution is also a major concern. To address the process of repatriation
in the three countries and cross border issues, UNODC is working to find
the reasons, vulnerabilities, factors for movement, facilitators, along the
boundaries. Along the borders, capacity of the SSB and border police should
be increased to include trafficking in their mandates. Most times, they do
not know whom to refer the cases to, when victims are found. Paucity of
time also prevents them from acting swiftly because of other commitments.

Worked done so far: Since the project started work on few things can be
listed as under:
In response and Prevention: UNODC supported three NGO’s in three
countries: In Nepal, ‘Maiti’; in Bangladesh, TNSS and in India, ‘Medant
Foundation’ to carry out regional profiling and identification of potential and
existing victims, services available for them, steps to provide relief, how to
combat trafficking and make recommendations pertaining to the same, to
the respective countries.
Capacity Building: UNODC conducted cross border workshops, with
Bhutan and Bangladesh, where they work with law enforcement agencies,
governments, departments and NGO partners to discuss the challenges and
issues while dealing with cross border trafficked victims. They learnt of
various challenges.
Suggestion made during
Prevention: Initiatives taken by the discussion:
organization in the field of 1. Regional inter agency
prevention: cooperation
• Planning and strategy 2. Prevention and protection
• Creation of IC material 3. And one of the immediate need
• Awareness programmes on of the cross border victim
prevention across the Indo which many agreed while
Nepal and Indo Bangladesh discussion was need of Shelter
border. home and transit home for the
• Poster representation to victims.
prevent trafficking, on 4. Creating any human trafficking
vigilance, child marriages, club
cases of missing children and 5. Role and responsibility have to
dangers faced by them, clarified
different types of trafficking,
how a missing person may be a
trafficked victim, role of community.
• Leaflets talking about ‘what is trafficking’, ‘how it occurs’, ‘modes of
HT’, ‘First responder’, etc.
• Awareness programs and campaigns with various
stakeholders/partners through storytelling.
• Street plays
• Stickers and posters
Question for the participants: Who can be the first responders in cross
border trafficking?
➢ SSB, BSF, police guards, NGO, Social worker; the first responder can
be anyone who first sees the incident, including local community
member. One must look out for the simple signs of trafficking.
Responders must exhibit certain behaviour and adopt a standard
approach while dealing with the victim; such as, he/she shouldn’t
give falls promises to victims, no need to be over friendly, how to
address the victims etc. The materials were made available with the
co-partner NGO ‘Bangla Natak’ in the form of pamphlet and CDs.
The speaker expressed her joy at being able to share the same to increase
the impact on cross borders trafficking by creating awareness in the
community.

Main focus in the year 2017:


- Creating standard operating procedure
- How to respond to the cross border victims
- Meeting with various concern officials and planning guidelines
- Working on recommendations for inter-country solutions
- Mass dissemination of information
She acknowledged the US State Department’s support and thanked the
partners for their immense support and guidance. She requested the
participants and audience to sign the ‘blue heart’ form for the victims. It
shows the solidarity toward victims of trafficking. She concluded by saying.
“..and we all need to come, join hands together to fight for the crime of
human trafficking.”

Shri Pramod Pukhrel, Shakti Samuha

He introduced himself and his organization ‘Shakti Samuha’. He is currently


working as the focal person (India) and the organization has been
effectively working in Nepal. He has been associated with the organization
for 10 months, is new and still learning. He extended his gratitude to the
US Consulate and Shakti vahini for organizing the program for stakeholders
from different places to come together and share views on such a serious
crime.
Briefing on the organization, “Shakti Samhua” started in 1996, unofficially,
took on human trafficking issues, and by late 2000s it gained recognition
and began full-fledged work against HT. During his time, he participated in
20 to 22 rescues.

Shri Bal Krishna Pandey, Maiti India

Indo-Nepal issues in trafficking are very similar as the countries are united
in the terms of culture, religion and people. Both nations have friendly
relations. Nepali citizens are working in India in government departments,
Army, naval and air forces, which signify the bonds shared with each other.
He had come to India a long time ago, and after seeing the situation of
Nepal people, their misery, he returned and decided to form the group to
work for them. He talked about the present conditions, how to protect the
people, the community, migrants and expressed concern about the
situation which warrants intervention from both sides.

At the time of “Koirala” Government, there was a discussion regarding the


issue, post which he visited Bihar and personally saw the situation of the
children, their condition. He went back, raised the issue and decided to
teach at least 10-10 children at that time. He worked with Shakti Vahini in
many different places on different issues.

He humbly requested all participants to come and join hands in combating


HT, and commit their will from the heart. While working victims should be
treated as one would do with family, as it’s the only to make response
better to reach our goal and motto. He said that trafficking takes place for
many reasons such as people getting lured on the pretext of good jobs,
good life style and sometimes natural calamities also cause trafficking. He
urged the audience to pledge their faith for effective solution to combating
trafficking.

Shri YK Gautam, Jan Jagaran Sansthan – ATSEC Bihar

He talked about Bihar and the condition of children. On the issue of


trafficking, he said, the situation in Patna was relatively good which calls to
appreciate the work of bureaucrats who were committed to the issue of
eradicating HT. The Chief Minister had showed his interest in the issue
during his tenure and credible work was done in 2005, which has been
carried forward by the present government with the same zest and zeal.
On Indo-Nepal border issues, he said that both countries are amicable in
their bonds and relation with each other. It has never occurred that both
countries are different because their cultures and people are the same. It’s
a ‘roti beti ‘relation between both countries. On the flipside, cross-border
human trafficking issues have victimized girls and women who were
brought to Delhi and even sold outside India. This has to be dealt with.

Problem Areas:
- Need to have proper ‘SOP’ ON TRAFFICKING how to work for traffic
victim and how to repatriate them.
- Need to ensure its proper implementation
- Need to plug the loopholes and rectify them as soon as possible
He shared his experience from Siliguri where they had an SOP but it wasn’t
being followed making it a matter of concern which required official
intervention.

Observations:
- More hard work has to be put it to make response to trafficking result-
oriented.
- Initiative of the Bihar government to recruit and train around 22000
police officials and AHTUs in the state has shown progress
- AHTUs at different police stations have been working successfully;
they are resourceful and have material on human trafficking
- People working in the field against trafficking should be recognized
and their work appreciated to create enthusiasm and energy to work
more.
- Need to sit with different department in government while preparing
the reports and formulating solutions.
- Funding issues need to be solved.
- Create awareness through public support
- Organize fund generation drives.

An audience member shared an incident where a girl was trafficked and


rescued. During counselling she revealed that she was sold by her own
father who even used to made her sit in the training and sent her to
different places. In such cases, what is needed is creating awareness
among the parents and elder members of the family.
There is no problem in rescuing girl victims from Nepal. However, many
times one faces problem in rescuing male victims who belong to Nepal.
What must be done in such a situation?

In this case, the rescuers we were in contact with the Nepal


government, but so far, there is no special provision for points for boys.
The problem occurs in case of boys because people often become ready
to work for the girls but for boys there is some hesitation.
PARALLEL SESSIONS

Time 13.30 - 16.00pm

Parallel Session I

Topic: Learning the Skills of Social Media

Resource Person: Manish Kumar, Program Manager and Principal trainer

Mr. Manish Kumar is associated with the organisation ‘Video Volunteers’ in


which reporters comprise mainly of women belonging to minority groups,
SC's, ST's communities etc.

In India there are 5000 news channels but they are more likely to cover
news that is political or trending. Only 2% of news focuses on social issues
like child marriage, drinking water problem, sanitation etc. VV work and
help to capture the corruption, and broadcast the truth in social media so
that preventive steps can be taken and the masses can be made aware of
many issues.

Previously, media persons used to have heavy cameras but at present with
the advancement of the modern technologies, the work has become easy.
One can be a reporter from home. This advancement in technology saves
time and is more accessible.
Mobile journalism is a form of
storytelling through the display Skills needed in mobile journalism:
of videos. This is done in order • Knowledge of photo editing so
to bring out a change in the that one can collaborate and
particular matter or issue. For showcase in social media.
mobile journalism, following • One shouldn't be technologically
should be kept in mind: 5W1H challenged i.e. one should be
i.e. what, why who, when, where able to access android phone and
(these things are essential to should possess one.
become a reporter on social
media.)

Thereafter, he showed a video on bonded labour in which one of the families


from Jharkhand went to Goa in search of work. The video showed the
torture faced after reaching Goa. Initially they were treated well by their
owners but as days went by, they were kept in an unhygienic place with
poor ventilation, without pay. They were asked to work in filthy areas such
as cleaning of drainage, toilets etc., after which they contracted infection
in their legs. They were beaten upon refusal to work and were not spared
even during sickness. They were threatened. The owner intimidated them,
said the police was in his favour, and he can manage to keep them behind
the bars and get beaten up. As they were unpaid the other family members
were starving. They were even not allowed to make a phone call to their
relatives. They had given the account numbers to the owner so as to
transfer the money to their home but they were informed that the given
account number was incorrect.

One fine day one of them managed to call his sister and inform about the
situation. The relatives reached in order to rescue them from that situation
but they were also beaten. Thereafter they remained firm in the decision
and decided to fight back and with the help of NGO they were able to come
out. The support from DC of South Goa was very effective. Once they were
taken out of the situation, the owners followed the family members and the
family had to halt in jungle for a night and change the route to reach back
home. Now they have reached Jharkhand and working in their agricultural
land.

This was the worst experience faced by the family. They preferred to be in
jail than to be in that house. They wanted to fight the case and wanted the
accused to be arrested and convicted.

Thereafter, he stated that many organisations are working towards the


same issue of trafficking. So whenever we go to file FIR, they ask for
evidence for which video recordings can be used as evidence.
Lastly the participants were asked to download the app called “KINE
MASTER” which helps to make videos which can be later applied in social
media. Most of them were guided to make the videos. Thereafter the
contact details were shared so as to clarify the doubts or to teach the
process of making videos.

.......................................................................................................

Time: 13.30 PM – 16.00PM

Parallel Session II Darbar Hall

Access to Justice – Organizing Legal Professionals for Victim


Support

Speaker No. 1: Mr. Ravi Kant, President, Shakti Vahini

The criminal justice system in India has focused on Criminology, i.e. on the
crime and punishment aspects, which affect society as a whole. While the
state has the responsibility to bring the case to court and ensure justice to
the victim, the system is still coming to terms with the fact that state also
bears the responsibility to ensure that complete justice be meted out to the
actual victims of the crime who have been deprived of basic human rights.
While this is a difficult task with multiple responsibilities, it begins with
providing basic support and assistance to the victims that is mandated in
our laws. Victims are often treated as liabilities and sometimes often bear
the brunt of narrow-minded sensibilities that cannot differentiate between
the victim and the perpetrator.

Victims have few legal rights to be informed, present and heard within the
criminal justice system. Victims do not have to be notified of court
proceedings or of the arrest or release of the defendant, they have no right
to attend the trial or other proceedings, and they have no right to make a
statement to the court at sentencing or at other hearings. Moreover, victim
assistance programs are virtually non-existent. The core rights for victims
of crime include:

• The right to attend criminal justice proceedings;


• The right to apply for compensation;
• The right to be heard and participate in criminal justice proceedings;
• The right to be informed of proceedings and events in the criminal
justice process, of legal rights and remedies, and of available
services;
• The right to protection from intimidation and harassment;
• The right to restitution from the offender;
• The right to prompt return of personal property seized as evidence;
• The right to a speedy trial; and
• The right to enforcement of these rights.

While all these rights are basic and essential to be provided to every victims
of the crime, those suffering from violation of fundamental/basic human
rights stand at a more precarious and delicate position towards which more
advanced and focused intervention is required. To this end, in terms of
court proceedings, state-sponsored prosecution is the only solution as they
cannot afford private lawyers. This solution or assistance is insufficient as
the prosecution is often over-burdened with state cases which run in higher
end of double digits on any given day. This is unfortunate for the victims
who rely heavily on state support, which essentially deprives them of their
right to justice due to inadequate representation. Nowadays courts have
taken cognizance of the limitations of victims who have to travel long
distances for their appearance for hearings and provides them financial
support. However, in the absence of proper protocol and schemes, this has
not been sufficient and always fallen short of fulfilling the requirements of
victims who need more than financial assistance.

Speaker No. 2: Manabendranath Mandal, ATSEC India


One of the biggest challenges facing the victims as well as the unofficial
support systems is the access to justice. For the most part, many are
completely unaware of the systems in place that are devised specifically to
assist victims. That is just one hurdle. It is not enough as the systems in
place, do not give due regard to the trauma and harrowing experience of
the victims that is specific for each one, making it incomplete and short-
sighted. The new improved systems provide for many provisions which
range from providing travelling assistance to victims, had holding at the
time of examination, registration of FIR, recording of statement, cross
examination etc. The bottom line remains that despite all these provisions
the level of legal expertise and intervention required to see such cases to
their logical end is missing due to the fact that such a pool of lawyers or
legal mettle is simply not accessible to them. Even though lawyers may be
provided, which can provide legal counselling it is not enough as the victims
are unaware of the rules of conduct in court and/or proceedings, making it
impossible for them to predict or understand the nature/outcome of their
actions or responses as required within the ambit of the law and its practice
in court. Some organizations through concerted efforts manage work
closely with lawyers, even private practitioners but the burden of cases is
so immense and the need so dire that half-hearted attempts bear no fruits
and pro bono work is possible only to a certain extent. It is also impossible
to predict complications that may arise in a case owing to the personal
issues of the victims depending upon her mental and/or physical health.
For these reasons it is imperative to train and prepare the victims from an
objective perspective who can gauge the workings and goings on in the
court such as legal professional which is hard to come by and thus
insufficient as a solution. Merely getting a legal representative is not
enough. There has to be coordination and cooperation amongst various
stakeholders and all government and non-government agencies. This
ensures that all the avenues before, in-between and after the ordeal is
tackled and addressed in its entirety through distribution of responsibility.
Having just the police, or the NGO or the government or the courts accept
the same puts undue burden on one and disregards the unique challenges
faced in the long road to recovery. It is important to note that women and
children are the primary victims which brings a host of specific issues that
require a sensitive approach in terms of building relations and establishing
lines of communication for the first thing to go is the ability to trust
someone and believe that help is possible especially after experiences such
as rape or prostitution completely destroy a person. In this regard, nowhere
is the lack of an adequate support system more apparent than in the
medico-legal procedures. There is a glaring lack of understanding between
the law enforcement and medical agencies. Citing an example he shared
an incident where the police officer reached the hospital with the victim for
the MLC, at a time when the doctor was on her way out. Due to this delay
she refused to conduct the examination and asked him to re visit after two
days when someone on duty, and free time would finish the examination.
Most of the cases regarding human trafficking in West Bengal or those from
the North-East usually include sexual assault at the hands of buyers or
traffickers making medical evidence crucial and gathering it a time-bound
issue. Such is the lackadaisical approach that even rape cases are treated
this way in which medical evidence is the most important proof of crime.
Due to the lack of knowledge on the part of the victim as well as apathy of
law enforcement, the situation never receives the attention from a
procedural perspective leading to lapses and ultimately failure. West Bengal
has several medical colleges and forensic science centres/institutions which
have played a crucial role in doing the ground work in submitting evidence
in the court. But the challenge of awareness and initiative of the law
enforcement still looms large. Today, many more medical colleges and
centres are required to fulfill the role of an independent body that has the
capacity to assist the court and the prosecution through absolute evidence
that connects the criminal to the crime, especially in sensitive matters of
rape, assault, etc. where the victims are traumatized beyond
comprehension and rely on the justice system for support. Cross border
trafficking in West Bengal is rampant examples are galore where it has
happened both ways. In one particular case, a woman from West Bengal
had been trafficked and exploited in Bangladesh and the situation was even
worse because the justice system and its procedures were not known to
the victims. The NGO intervened and made please to conduct video
conferencing sessions for the examination, witnessing and cross-
examination of the victim so that she would be saved from the hassle and
discomfort of travelling across borders while having no resource and
money. After several deliberations and help of local NGOs , the same was
accomplished but only to a certain extent. The court procedures are
lengthy and complicated making it tedious and almost like re-victimization
to the victims. The dates of hearings are far in-between which causes
anxiety, uncertainty and doubt in their minds. Moreover, it is also a leading
cause of depression and frustration amongst them that soon erases their
faith in the justice system, making them vulnerable once again. There is a
crying need for a collective and holistic approach which puts the victims
first.

Speaker No. 3: Simit Bhagat – Program Officer, Asia Thomson Reuters


Foundation. TRUST LAW
TrustLaw is the Thomson Reuters Foundation’s global pro bono legal
program which connects the best law firms and corporate legal teams
around the world with high-impact NGOs and social enterprises working to
create social and environmental change. The objective is to produce
groundbreaking legal research, and offer innovative training courses
worldwide. With this introduction, the speaker started his presentation
which provided necessary details regarding the work done by the
philanthropic leg of Thomson Reuters that is aimed to provide access to
justice to victims of human rights violations. Through TrustLaw, over
100,000 lawyers offer their time and knowledge to help organizations
achieve their social mission for free. This means NGOs and social
enterprises can focus on their impact instead of spending vital resources on
legal support.

TrustLaw works with over 550 legal teams across 170 countries that
generously support the legal requests of TrustLaw NGO and social
enterprise members for free. In India, Trust Law has over 420 NGO
partners and 80 law firms which are registered on the website. It is a
conduit which utilizes its facilitation process and mechanism to connect
clients (NGOs) to the service providers for their expertise and knowledge.
Trust Law does not provide help in active litigation. The program is aimed
to organize the unorganized sector and pool in the technical and non-
technical resources. The ranger of its assistance and activities include pro
bono projects ranging from operational legal issues for NGOs and social
enterprises, including general commercial, intellectual property and
employment matters, to international cross-border legal research. Some of
that are:

Advocacy: Research on laws on multiple issues, comparing best (and


worst) practices.

Staff: Employment and volunteer agreements

Structuring: Helping to select the right legal entity for the NGOs or social
enterprise.

Funding: Partnership or funding agreements

Protecting brand and ideas: Trademark registration, copyright, patents


and licensing

There have been novel initiatives from law firms who have extended their
expertise to provide legal guidance in several critical cases involving
questions on human rights. At this point, the resource person, opened the
floor for questions and discussions, starting with
Question: What are the top legal issues faced by NGOs?

➢ Mrs. Tapoti Bhowmick

There is a vast disconnect between the victims and the Public Prosecutor.
Most times the PP is completely unaware of the case up until they arrive at
the courtroom and see the file. During times of examination or cross-
examination this half-hearted investment in the case proves costly to the
victim who has no other legal recourse but to trust the public justice
system. In all the cases she intervened, the victims were poor and unaware
and acutely unaware of the system, its functionalities, modalities and more
importantly how to procure and utilize it. There should be a program
tailored especially to meet the legal challenges that clarify the methods to
access the justice system in its entirety. There was an initiative taken by
her organization wherein they observed the medical procedures and the
processes the victim has to undergo in course of investigation and due
procedure. The lapses and lack of sensitivity was stunning, especially from
professionals at the highest echelons. The experience revealed terrible
pathos and glaring irregularities, wherein the victim was continuously
victimized. They have become a part of an inefficient legal system through
no fault of theirs and despite that they do not receive the kindness and
sympathy to help them through the ordeal. To an extent the law
enforcement has mended their attitude but at times judges have been
unduly harsh and exacting for the victim. In one case a Nepali girl, had
been trafficked and abused, and was brought in for the identification
parade. She didn’t speak or understand the language, was under severe
trauma, and was brought in to identify the accused from 25 people. The
young girl in her innocence laughed at this situation which was confusing
and left her quite stunned, to which the judge took offence, stating she did
not take the court seriously and suspended her case without further hearing
to e taken up later. Such was the harsh stance of the judge who was made
responsible for ensuring justice in the court and got slighted by a young
victim. There should therefore be programs that sensitize the people on
senior positions who hold the power to alter the fate of the victim. The legal
fight against trafficking, a very dangerous, clandestine and sophisticated
crime requires committed, public-spirited and sensitive lawyers. Running
successful prosecutions and strategic litigation also requires experienced
lawyers with specialist expertise. NGOs do not always have access to
appropriate lawyers to ensure optimum legal outcomes.

Case #1: In one case, an NGO received information about a 15 year old
girl from the lowest caste, the Musahr tribe who had been married to a man
from Haryana. Further inspection revealed the man to be 45 years of age,
who had bought the girl and the parents had been included in the plot. The
girl’s age was stated to be 18 to send her off as a major. The police
conducted their investigation, the girl was rescued and restored to her
parents after being produced before the CWC for counselling. The case was
over in 5 days. However, when the NGO went to seek legal recourse for the
crime committed under Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 1986, they found
glaring procedural flaws. The case was registered and the man had been
arrested but was released on bail within 5 days, after which the case went
cold. This is a clear indication that the prosecution is always weak and no
credit is given to the proper legal procedures which allow or deny the bail
application. There must be a protocol in which cases pertaining to children
receive special attention and bail conditions are very strictly defined. In this
particular case, the defense applied for the bail which was opposed by the
prosecution but no reasons or causes were provided for the opposition
leading to grant of bail. Such half-hearted attempts are common affecting
the system which is not due to lack of expertise but due to lack of will. The
prosecution must be well trained and sensitized to give priority to such
sensitive issues. There is a crying need for holistic and detailed counselling
of the victims and the family at the very outset to ensure that first hand
paperwork is complete or at least as close and succinct in the relevant
details as possible. The lack of such sensitivity leads to gaps in FIRS,
complaints, 164 statements eventually harming the prosecution case.
There are instances where victims have been sold multiple times,
exchanged hands and transacted to the point where they are inured to the
effects and can no longer react to the horrific incidents. This should not be
taken as acquiescence, but rather the most crippling effect of the trauma
of sustained victimization. In case of child labour, child marriage etc. the
parents, villagers, relatives must receive counselling to be educated
regarding the pros and cons of such practices.

Case #2: The experience was shared by an Advocate of the Patna


High Court. It is a well-known fact that Bihar suffers from the problem of
child labour. This problem is aggravated as the perpetrators are never
caught or suspended. There are many officers, politicians who employ
children in their homes. There have been instances where children never
undergo the mandatory medical examination after rescue and sent straight
to Homes or to their parents or any institution. This process is skipped for
a reason as children below 14 are not to be employed, and skipping the
medical exam, in the absence of necessary papers, their age is listed as
anything above 15 which makes them eligible to work under the labour
laws. This lack in clarity in the legal provisions has been used and abused,
which is shameful as the problem has continued to persist and deliberately
escaped or been avoided by focused legislative intent. In most cases,
guardians have also been involved as they also receive monetary benefit
through their earnings as well as through the compensation, if received
after the rescue. Greed combined with desperation and apathy, along with
lack of will to resolve the situation causes irreversible harm in the long run
to children and families for generations to come. In this regard, the
Advocate proposed whether there should be a Standard Operating
Procedure (SOP) to act as a guide to provide direction in fulfilling the legal
and social objectives for the benefit of the victims.

Should there be an SOP? Even though each case is unique, the core
issues remain the same and have been repeated in terms of needs of the
victim, support systems and court proceedings that should be designed to
help and not tax them unnecessarily by virtue of their lack of knowledge.
The SOP must have suggestions and provisions in the form of a module
which assigns the various responsibilities on the stakeholders from the first
responder to the judge delivering judgment. One audience member placed
a suggestion that NGOs or facilitating agencies should keep someone on a
legal retainer who can act as the legal representative or lawyer affiliated to
the cause and the organization working with victims to prevent pillar-to-
post effort in acquiring legal intervention.

PRAYAS Representative: How are NGOs using lawyers? How can


they avail the services without knowing about them?

The organization runs on help and goodwill of the community in the field.
They work to improve the lives of women who have been forced into
exploitative situations from the very beginning and have been deprived of
any education or skill as a result. Prayas has worked with the local Police
stations or Kotwali and conducted operations at Railways through vigilance
groups and outreach programs. Their work in the field has brought them in
contact with women who had been in and out of jails multiple times,
sometimes up to 5 and 6, and had been brought back each time by fake
relatives, agents, managers and even traffickers. Many of them were
trafficked and victimized at such a young age, they can no longer remember
their original names or places of origin or even their family, save some faint
memories that is insufficient to classify as workable information to initiate
restoration. This means they have submitted to their fate. Many are
suffering from health problem, like drug addiction, stomach and nutrition
problems and have nobody to look after them. The provisions made for
such women under the law ranges anywhere from Rs. 4000 to Rs. 5000
which is meager and insufficient having little value today. What is needed
is a strict justice delivery mechanism that takes into account their
precarious position as victims first and vagabonds later. The NGOs which
can availing the services of lawyers must ensure that every aspect of their
life is investigated so that proper legal recourse can be taken and they be
treated in the manner that allows them to have a chance at new life.

Case #3: International Justice Mission (IJM)

It must be understood that the prosecution’s work is not easy. They are
overburdened and have to navigate the slow, methodical processes of the
court which can be time consuming and taxing for all the parties involved.
Moreover, for a profession such as law, there are many financial issues
involved that can be quite discouraging as they are on the payroll of the
state. In this regard there is also a dearth of good prosecution lawyers who
have had little to no training in dealing with human rights cases. In order
to polish and improve upon this situation there must be open discussions
with frank communication on the matter which deal with the victims
exclusively. A suggestion put forward by the resource person was that such
a change must begin at the college level itself so that exposure is
guaranteed at the very outset that will motivate the interested individuals
to pursue a career from the viewpoint of social activism.

The resource person at this point reiterated the Trust Law is aimed to
provide holistic service because it encompasses the entire range of
activities that can possible be undertaken in ensuring justice to victims who
are unaware and in dire need. Trust Law also helps in facilitating NGOs
claim IPR benefits whenever they develop novel methods and means in the
process of intervention and establishing support systems. Many NGOs have
done spectacular work in the field of human rights which has improved the
response mechanism by creating awareness and understanding of the
problem. They can easily gain benefit from the same which will assist them
in the long run in terms of funding and recognition of work. Moreover, they
will be able to extend the benefit of the same to partner organizations and
NGOs who are working in the same filed albeit in different locations to make
the work more effective. Women who are most easily exploited sexually
and physically must have knowledge about the jobs and employments they
are taking up through counselling which includes aspects of Sexual
Harassment Committee and other delicate matters in their employment
contracts. This establishes the foundations of trust and understanding that
sends a strong message regarding the value and position of every
employee. Trust Law has been very active in this regard and tried to assist
law firms in their endeavor to assist NGOs by instilling such provisions that
can bring effective change. Trust Law, in this regard can provide all the
background research and data required to fight a case in the court of law.

SOME examples of entrepreneurial intervention by TRUST LAW


a. Bempu: The organization received assistance to file for a patent after
it developed a device along the lines of a baby monitor in the form of
a wristwatch. The watch comes in sets, where one is worn by the
child which regularly monitors their health, such as temperature,
blood pressure, pulse, heart rate, etc. and relays the same to the
mother who can keep a watch on her child. This is especially for
working mothers, out in the fields who cannot afford day care, and
have to rely on anganwadi services or relatives which may or may
not be sufficient. This simple solution has transformed several lives
and helped mothers immensely. The devices were distributed to the
mothers for free.
b. PRAJWALA: The organization has been actively advocating for the
rights of victims of forced prostitution and sexual assault. In one
particular matter, it came to light that videos of rape with the identity
of the victims clearly visible were being circulated on social media, as
well as amongst niche group of people, on websites which provided
them anonymity. The Supreme Court took suo moto cognizance of
the matter and invited all the big IT companies and service providers
like Microsoft, Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. to form a committee and
investigate the matter as such content was being shared through
their forums. It was important to understand how it was being
perpetrated and how were the other technologically advanced
countries tackling the issue. Examples of US, UK and Canada were
put forward who have introduced strict laws against distribution of
such material over the internet. The case in currently in the court and
the matter is sub-judice.
c. Institute of Human Rights and Business: Another big
organization which has been actively pursuing matters related to
human rights. In their case, they targeted to understand the extent
and scope of liability of corporations, in violations of human rights.
Can they be held vicariously responsible for the goings-on in their
company? Can they be treated as persons if they have failed to
comply with regulations pertaining to providing work place safety to
women? This research was conducted thoroughly with the help,
resourcefulness and technical expertise of Trust Law.
d. PRERANA: The Mumbai based NGO, run by Mrs. Priti Patkar
conducted a research to understand all the laws under which victims
can be rehabilitated and compensated. They wanted to develop a
repository with all relevant provisions which would help in developing
a strategy to be used and modified by all those seeking relief. This
was again facilitated by Thomson Reuters, which has an active
website where numerous NGOs have registered themselves and have
accessed their reports which contain reports and information on the
work done and the road ahead.

Trust Law in their efforts to teach the local populace has also helped
in community outreach programs. One such example is Community
Radio in far flung villages which disseminate information regarding
women rights and basic provisions for all citizens.
Parallel Session III

Technological tool to Combat Human Trafficking: Chanakya Hall

Resource Persons

• Mr. Satyajit Ghosh, India Project Manager, PLAN India


• Shri Rajib Kumar Haldar, Regional Coordinator [South Asia ECPAT]
• Shri Surinder Singh Mann, Chairperson, Child Welfare Committee
Karnal

Topics to be discussed:

• Missing Children and Sexual Abuse of Children.


• Online Child Sexual Abuse

Objectives:
• To make the audience aware about the how unknowingly there is
Child Sexual Abuse, through internet
• To know about the online facilities that is running to track the details
of Missing children.

About the event:

Mr. Satyjit Ghosh started the session; he addressed the audience, and
welcomed everyone. He shared one of the best practices Plan International;
there is an app Missing Child Alert and how this app works, and PLAN India
is working on this app as a pilot project in three different countries i.e.
India, Nepal and Bangladesh.
He also stated that filing a FIR is the most important thing to be and it
needs to be done in first place. As the children be being trafficked in these
three countries and 7 districts of Bihar, 7 districts of Uttar Pradesh and 10
districts of West Bengal which is cross border area or source area for
trafficking. Repatriation which also very important, so they focus in
repatriation of these children
There are four key areas.

This is a technological approach, to track these children, though there are


other organization who is working in protection and prevention of
trafficking, but there is not much initiative in technology.

And cross boarder initiative is also very less, so this is also one of the
initiative. He shared a case study of 201five, there was a child who was
there in India from Bangladesh, and wanted to go back after a while he
wanted to go back, but then he had no documents to prove his identity he
was caught by the judicial body of India. And he had to struggle a lot to go
back to his home town.

Some of the benefits of having this Missing Child Alert are:

• There is identification number which is unique code, and this helps in


identifying the victim irrespective of the fact that trafficker change
the name and identity of victim. This is a major plus point of this
software that the code is the identity of the victim.
• All the three countries can easily access through the data, which
make the procedure more convenient for the people to deal with the
cases, individually and can also do regular follow up. This is less time
consuming as the data is present in the software so one can get
access to these data if needed.
• All the data of these children are put up in the software, there is
detailed information which makes it easier to access the data and get
a summary of the cases at a glance.
• It is definitely conserves time.
• Repatriation is made easier, as all the data and the contact details of
the case is present so it is easier for repatriation of the cases and
send the children back to their home.

In this software system only particular type of documents format can run.
One of the facts about this software is that person’s information is updated
only after the rescue of the child, and after the home verification the home
minister can complete the data and submitted.

This is piloting software and this software is being used by Bangladesh,


Nepal and India. And this is the project is being implemented by the non
state actors.

And there is expectation that the software is run fruitfully and through this
system the child can hopefully be repatriated successfully. He was really
thankful to the 3 countries.

Mr. Surinder Mann, started the discussion mainly relating it to his district,
and he gave a suggestion which could be used in future like the Adhar card
can be used for tracking the vulnerable children, as one’s finger print is
taken in this. We can use this in future, as finger print is more convenient
and the finger print of individuals won’t change in future.

According to him MCPS is not user friendly, and can be improved. (As this
portal is not normally working in a better condition)
Another complaint is that there is usually demand of hard copy, which
makes it more time taking, and one can give priority to mail or whatsapp.

The government officials are also not really technologically friendly and
they can get some training in this technology, to make these people
friendlier to technology.

One can use the software where the children can be identified with their
images. And we can develop the software and work more on technological
aspect.

There is always an issue to rescue and repatriate the children of Nepal, so


he also asked for suggestion and help.

He stated that all bodies working in order to help in field of human


trafficking so everyone can improve the linkage.

Questions:

1. How this data base used or who put up this data, which can access
this child, and whether the child has to be from the other country to
be dealt by Missing Child Alert?

(Track Child Portal) And according to him the problem of this site is not
really serious, whereas the site is being developed every now and then,
and this can be used in chrome and firefox. According to him Khoya Paya
is not as good as Track Child Portal.

Raj Singh (Haryana), according to him the audience needs to empty their
brain first then attend the sessions, and then the message can be delivered
even more efficiently. There should be a coordination committee in state
and national level, which link up this committee and share their issues and
help resolve their issues. The problem in this mechanism is subject expert
are not recruited in the department. There should be subject expert so that
the person can help more efficiently and help them effectively. And basic
infrastructure is not there, and there is not much power. DCPU should work
in CNPC.

Let’s focus in technology, and then he suggested that the mechanism needs
to be updated regularly.

2. Nita Bhalla, South Asia Correspondent, Thomson Reuters. How


many success stories are there and then how effective RIMS is?

It is very successful, in recent time i.e 2017 there was a training


programme, where there was sharing and there was sharing from the fields
of three countries. Advocacy was also very good, that too from all the 3
countries. And share the challenges and here the three countries have
repatriated 8 children in Bangladesh.

All the state and non state actors also needs to looked at and checked in.

There was another session by Shri Rajib Kumar Haldar, Regional


Coordinator (South Asia ECPAT), he talked on online child sexual
abuse, Indian context.

Firstly, he started the session by stating how everyone working in field of


Anti trafficking overlook the problems related to online child sexual abuse,
and how the accused and the victim is not even committing this crime
directly but this is exist. And this is more wide spread, this involves child
pornography. Where the child is the actor the person making and selling
this video online is trafficker, and he also makes money out of this crime.
Where as we know there is no direct involvement of the accused or the
victim.

Outline of Presentation:

1. Human Trafficking and Vulnerability factors

2. New Manifestations of SEC and Trafficking : Emerging


Trends- through OCSE
3. Gaps and remaining challenges (coordination and
cooperation; prevention; protection; support services)

Vulnerability factors

➢ Permanence
• Poverty
• Harmful traditional practices
• Lack of education
• Conflicts and Natural Disasters
• Growth in ICTs/Travel
• Gender discrimination
• Religion/
• Discriminatory
• Practices

India context (June 2016):


• 462 million Internet users in India/
34.4% IT penetration
• 157 million Facebook subscribers/
11.7% penetration rate
• Major disparities IT access

Trends: facts and figures:

These are from the Internet Watch


Foundation report as was published in April
2016 covering the period of 2013 until
2016. The IWF is the Internet Watch
Foundation dealing with reports from the
public as well as own pro-active searches
regarding CSAM.

1) IWF experienced a 417% increase in reports over period of 2013


till end of 2015.

Does this mean that more and more material is being produced and shared?
Maybe. But we have to be careful with drawing conclusions too easily. Other
reasons for the increase in the number of reports include that more and
more people are getting connected online and there is an increased
awareness on the issue of CSAM as well as opportunities to report on such
content. Also, there is an increased use of
webcams and children are sharing lots of self-
generated images adding to available CSAM
online (netclean report) . Also IWF started to do
proactive searches from 2015 onwards,
contributing to more than half of the total reports.
So, the increase in reports is real, but let’s
be careful in interpreting these data.

Then let’s look at the other data, particularly the age and nature of
the content.

We see that from the IWF report for 2015,

2) *69% of victims assessed were under the age of 10

2a) *3% of victims under the age of 2


These figures are slightly different from the ones INHOPE shared for the
previous year but both indicate that the vast majority [70-80%] of children
depicted is of pre-pubescent age at most. This also should have implications
for efforts to target these crimes, as we cannot just focus on teaching
teenagers to act in a safe way online and think we prevent this issue from
happening.

3) *And 34% of the images were of category A, meaning it’s the


worst of the worst type of CSAM that includes rape and sexual
torture.

Considering that IWF is a UK-based reporting hotline, it would be


interesting to hear from Aarambh India about the number and
types of reports they receive in relation to online child sexual
exploitation and consider the trend of number and type of images
over a longer period of time..

Growing access = greater risk

- IT ACCESS provides children with opportunities to act on their


RIGHTS!

- RISK DOES NOT EQUAL HARM!

Behaviour is the problem, not technology!

➢ Technical literacy is about understanding how


to use smart passwords, using privacy
settings on social media sites etc.
➢ Media literacy is about which sources can you
trust, how do you assess information
provided
➢ Finally, social literacy revolves around how to engage with others,
what information is ok to share, what are inappropriate requests,
should you use your webcam etc.

A big problem is that children share a lot of information about


themselves but they don’t necessarily take measures to hide their
identity or identifying information.

Perpetrators can use that information when they are targeting children
online. For example, through social media sites they initiate contact with
potential victims, learn a lot about the child’s interests, feelings and or
address etc and use that in their grooming tactics. Just as children are
using many different platforms online, offenders use the same ones to
contact children.
In addition they communicate with other like-minded people to share
child sexual abuse material but also tips on how to effectively target
children, how to abuse children, how to stay under the radar from the
authorities etc.

Studies show that offenders’ skills in applying technologies to remain


unseen are improving. They apply encryption and anonym zing tools to
make sure law enforcement or internet service providers cannot see who
they are, where they are and what information and data they are
sharing. This hinders identification opportunities and allows for offenders
to pursue their activities without a great risk of being apprehended.

So, technology is abused by perpetrators to sexually exploit children and


to allow its continuation.

Online AND offline risk of OCSE:

However, this doesn’t mean that only children who are connected online
are at risk of becoming sexually exploited.

Offenders do not only target children online but can also approach, for
example, children living in the streets or abuse children within their circle
of trust. When this abuse is being recorded and/or shared online, these
victims are also a victim of online exploitation.

The children victims of sexual exploitation online are from all countries, age
groups and backgrounds.

They can have access to the internet or live in remote areas with no
connectivity. In fact, some of the most vulnerable children are those who
are not connected. It is not their access to the Internet that makes them
vulnerable, but a series of factors that put them at risk at a particular
moment. Indeed, the most vulnerable children who are easy targets for sex
offenders, often are not connected, but targeted from the streets, in
shelters and foster homes, they work as domestic workers, etc. And this,
has strong implications when we design strategies to tackle computer-
mediated sexual violence of children.

What all these victims have in common though, the connected and
unconnected children, is 1/ that it is extremely difficult for law enforcement
to identify and rescue them and 2/ that the abuse they suffer will have a
long lasting negative impact on them. Those of you attending today who
work with victims, know this first hand.
COP vs SECO:

This is also why it is important for any approach to online child sexual
exploitation to be as comprehensive as possible and inclusive of both
connected, and unconnected children.

Child Online Protection efforts are an integral and invaluable part of any
approach to online child sexual exploitation. Efforts to teach children,
parents, teachers and society at large about online risks of sexual
exploitation and teach and empower them to evade such online risks are
an essential component of preventive efforts to keep children safe online.

However, like stated before, it is not only because children are engaging
online that they face a risk of becoming a victim of sexual exploitation
online. Unconnected children are also at risk of becoming a victim of OCSE.
To reach and protect unconnected children we need to go beyond child
online protection efforts.

Secondly, we cannot expect children to always make smart choices and


display safe behavior online, even when they have been taught how to do
so. Everyone makes mistakes and it can be very difficult to assess correctly
at all times other people’s behaviors and the potential consequences of your
own behaviors, particularly since children’s brains aren’t even developed to
their full potential.

Additionally, the Internet can be perceived as an anonymous different


reality with fewer limits resulting in more risk-taking behavior. Add to this
the fact that offenders can be very manipulative and smart in how they
engage with these potential victims, and the risk for children is definitely
there.

So rather than approaching online child sexual exploitation as just a child


online protection issue, we take a broader approach.

Online child sexual exploitation is a crime, it is a form of sexual violence


and it involved REAL harm of the child with often many interlinkages
between sexual abuse in the offline and the online world.

We will go into the different manifestations now.

Back to basics: Manifestations:

“Material representing children involved in sexual activities and/or in a


sexualized manner, but the production of this type of material does not
involve actual contact abuse of real children but is artificially created “
The first manifestation of child sexual exploitation online related to child
sexual abuse material.

Child sexual abuse material refers to materials depicting acts of sexual


abuse and/or focusing on the genitalia of the child.

Offenders can be involved in producing such


content, which in essence means recording
children engaging in sexual acts or the
sexual abuse of a child by himself or other
people; they can share or disseminate the
recordings, access or download, possess or
sell such content. Not all of these acts are
criminalized in all legal frameworks and the
same accounts for computer or digitally
generated child sexual abuse material.

Computer or digitally generated child sexual abuse material is material


representing children involved in sexual activities and/or in a sexualized
manner, but the production of this type of material does not involve actual
contact abuse of real children but is artificially created to appear as if real
children were depicted. This is also sometimes referred to as virtual child
pornography and includes animations, cartoons, and collages. Although no
children are involved in the production of this type of child sexual abuse
material it is still harmful since it supports a culture of abuse, it sexualizes
children and also these materials are sometimes used by offenders to
educate children about sexual acts and normalize this.

CSAM: where do victims come from?*


*Source: INTERPOL (in NetClean 2016 report)

So if we go back to CSAM, what do we know about these images and


videos?

INTERPOL data regarding the victims shows that;

For a large amount of images the origin of the child is still unknown.

However, most children are of Caucasian origin (from either Europe or


North-America)

There is an increase in mostly new material from South America & China

And Russian material still holds a big percentage of the total amount of
CSAM encountered online.
It is not clear to what extent Indian children are also victimized for the
production of CSAM, but cases are known in which parents in some Indian
states were paid a minimal fee of about Rs. 500 to allow their child to be
photographed or filmed with no clothes on or while performing sexual acts
(UNICEF REPORT pp 37).

In 2015, only 96 cases of child pornography were reported, which was a


whopping 135 per cent increase from the previous year.

Victim Profiles:

If we look at the victim depicted in the known images, we see that 80% of
the children in 2014 was 10 years or younger and that the majority of the
children depicted is female (81%). This doesn’t mean boys are not victim
of the same crime.

Online Grooming:

“The process of establishing/building a relationship with a child either in


person or through the use of the Internet or other digital technologies to
facilitate either online or offline sexual contact with that person”

Online grooming is the process of establishing or building a relationship


with a child either in person or through the use of the Internet or other
digital technologies to facilitate either online or offline sexual contact with
that person.

Traditionally, grooming is about building a relationship or trust. Offenders


approach children on social media, in gaming platforms etc, sometimes
pretending to be someone else, either in terms of gender or age. They can
give loads of attention, even gifts or money, compliments to get the child
to look and trust him/her.

Offenders can also use information they find on public profiles of children,
since many kids forget to hide identifying information and put a lot of
information online, about who they are, where they live, who their friends
are, what things they like, how they’re feeling. Offenders can tap into that
information and use that in their grooming tactics.

But what’s also been noted by EUROPOL is a trend of offenders also


engaging in what is the opposite of ‘slow-time’ grooming or slowly building
a relationship of trust and sexualizing that relationship. They see that
offenders more and more often target multiple children at the same time
and skip the ‘trust-building’ efforts and cut straight to the case. They will
ask for sexual favors within minutes of the first encounter – for example
asking to turn the webcam on and strip or send sexy pictures - and
surprisingly there are still quite some children who will respond accordingly.

Offenders also groom children into agreeing to meet offline, which can
result in hands-on abuse.

Online grooming can thus result in both offline and online child sexual
abuse.

With an ever-growing increase of children getting connected to the Internet


in India, there is also a growing ‘supply’ of potential victims to be
approached via ICT for offenders. In combination with a context of poverty,
this implies opportunities for groomers.

Sexting:

Sexting is the self-production of sexual images or the creating, sharing and


forwarding of sexually suggestive nude or nearly nude images through
mobile phones and/or the internet.

It often is a consensual activity between children. Children engage in


sexting for various reasons: they solicit compliments, are seeking attention,
just want to experiment or confirm their commitment to someone.

Sometimes it is also done because of peer pressure and that’s when it


becomes more problematic, when it involves involuntary elements.

Although sexting in itself is not a criminal act, considering the fact that it
involves the production of images of a sexual nature involving a minor,
technically we are talking about production of child sexual abuse material.
When these self-generated images are shared with others, this content is
moreover distributed, accessed,
downloaded and/or possessed. All
illegal acts when linked to the issue of
child sexual abuse material.

And there have been quite a few cases


in the past (worldwide) where children
were arrested and convicted on child
sexual abuse material charges for
engaging in sexting. Luckily, often
children will not be charged and often
judges will look at elements such as consent or alternative measures will
be taken.
According to the 2016 UNICEF report on child online protection in India, an
overt expression of sexuality through talk and/or sharing of images is part
of growing up as a boy in India. Similarly, girls have their own ways and
means of dealing with their evolving sexual identity and technology offers
them the means to express and explore, and even to go beyond
stereotypical conduct.

However when these Indian children engage in sexting, it leaves them


vulnerable to blackmail when someone might threaten to share the images.

A typical scenario is for a young couple to share sexual images of


themselves, the relationship is over and one or both share the nude images
of their ex-partner as revenge or out of spite. When this happens, with or
without the consent of the child depicted, this can result in other negative
consequences such as bullying both offline and offline.

One famous case in India was the 2004 case involving two 17 year old
students of a well-known school in New Dehli who created a sexually explicit
video using a mobile phone, which was subsequently distributed online.

Sexual Extortion:

“The blackmailing of a person with the help of self-generated images of that


person in order to extort sexual favours, money, or other benefits from
her/him under the threat of sharing the material beyond the consent of the
depicted person”

Sexual extortion is the blackmailing of a person with the help of self-


generated images of that person in order to extort sexual favors, money,
or other benefits from her/him under the threat of sharing the material
beyond the consent of the depicted person (e.g. posting images on social
media). I think this definition is too narrow. It could also be compromising
images, doesn’t have to be self-generated.

The coercion or pressure often is linked to a perceived balance of authority,


for example because the offender is an adult, pretends to be someone
important etc.

In March 2016 a shocking case was revealed in which a college dropout had
shot some videos of intimidate moments during a brief relationship with the
victim’s sister and used these to blackmail and rape the 17-year old victim
in 2012. Then another person found out about the sexual relationship
(which was extorted) between the victim and the college dropout, and
sexually exploited her for three months until she became pregnant and was
forced to have an abortion. This is a terrible case study that shows the
gravity of these offenses, and it all started with a recording of sexual acts
of the victim’s sister with her then-boyfriend. Not so innocent act after all,
considering the severe consequences that followed.

Live online child sexual abuse:

“Coercion of a child to participate in sexual activities; alone or with


someone else. These activities are at the same time transmitted live or
streamed over the Internet and
watched by others remotely”

Live online child sexual abuse is the


coercion of a child to participate in
sexual activities, alone or with other
persons. These activities are at the
same time transmitted live or
streamed over the Internet and
watched by others remotely.

These ‘others’ watching remotely,


usually gain access to the child and
streaming platform through
facilitators. They find each other online and agree per mail or chat on a
time, date and price to be paid in order to be able to watch the abuse.
Generally payments are quite small and money is transferred through
either traditional payment systems such as western union or more
anonymous payment methods. Sometimes, the people watching the abuse
can also direct the abuse. They can indicate whether they like to see the
child in front of the webcam or if they want a different/ younger child. They
can also communicate directly with the child or the facilitators via chat or
audio function, saying what activities the child should engage in and how
he or she should perform.

This manifestation is very often associated with the Philippines where many
such cases are known. Very often family and/ or community members are
involved as facilitators of the abuse. Misconceptions, social norms and
situations of extreme poverty facilitate a level of permissibility. It is not
clear to what extent such cases is also happening in India.

India: offline and online abuse

One thing that has been identified by UNICEF when looking at Child Online
Protection in India is that unlike in the West where online conversations
precede offline sexual abuse and exploitation, the pattern in India appears
to be the reverse.
Online harassment, abuse and blackmail (including revenge porn and
sexual extortion) tend to follow offline harassment and relationships
breaking down, although cases of sexual predators online, forging
friendships, grooming and enticing children and young people to connect
off-line are also known.

India Response:

Recently the Supreme Court of India constituted a committee, including


members from the Central government and Internet majors, to explore
technical solutions and block videos of child sexual abuse and rape in
general in the digital world.

The committee, comprising nominees of Google India, Microsoft India,


Yahoo India, Facebook and others, have been given 15 days time to come
up with a ‘concrete solution’.

This is a very promising move, but like discussed


earlier, any approach to OCSE should be
comprehensive and sturdy and India still has a long
way to go to establish that effective approach,
including e.g. a strong reporting system, immediacy
in dealing with online child sexual exploitation
cases, equipped law enforcement to secure and
investigate evidence etc. Also, the approach to
OCSE should go beyond identifying and taking down
videos of child sexual abuse, but should also
consider the manifestations as discussed in this
presentation as well as the fact that online
exploitation is constantly evolving.

#WeProtect Model National Response:

▪ 6 Categories

▪ Policy and Governance

▪ Criminal Justice

▪ Victim

▪ Societal

▪ Industry
▪ Media and Communications

▪ 21 Capabilities

To end the sexual exploitation of children online requires comprehensive


and coordinated global, regional and national responses; one that is multi-
sectoral and multi-stakeholder. It requires the capabilities – together with
commitment and passion – of national and local governments, law
enforcement, civil society, the ICT industry, researchers, educators, faith
based organisations, youth organisations, and media. Each of us.

This coordinated response could be viewed as a system – a collection of


interdependent and connected capabilities. But delivering a systemised
response is not easy. To assist, WePROTECT – a global initiative against
sexual exploitation of children online has developed a model to visualise
the main capabilities required for this response in any country. It is called
the WePROTECT Model National Response. This model attempts to define
an optimal response to online child sexual exploitation by a wide range of
sectors and could also be used as a model by India to enhance the approach
to OCSE.

It is comprised of 21 capabilities, categorized under 6 different headings.

For example, under the category Victim the desired outcome is for children
and young people to have access to appropriate support services through
the investigation and prosecution of crimes against them. This outcome
would be achieved through 4 different capabilities including provision of
end-to-end support services; a trained and capable child protection
workforce; accessible procedures for compensation, remedies and
complaint arrangements and helplines to provide victims with opportunities
for reporting and support.

Examples of work to combat SECO:

PREVENTION

- Awareness-raising activities & resources

- Create safe environments: FB, NTD

- Help lines for offenders

PROTECTION

- Help lines for children

- Victim support
PROSECUTION

- Criminalizing conducts & definition of CSAM

- Cross-border cooperation

Empower law enforcement and prosecutors

Awareness-raising initiatives at different levels and for different target


audiences including children, parents, teachers to educate about online
risks, empowering children to behave safely online, helping parents,
teachers, governments and others acknowledge that SECO is a problem
and prioritize it in their policies etc. A good example of a resource portal
with resources for children and young people is that of Aarambh India;

Creating safe online environments:

Involving internet service providers to apply filtering and blocking as well


as NTD procedures to help limit the availability of child sexual abuse
material online. This could help to avoid unwanted exposure to porn, makes
it more difficult for offenders to access CSAM and can help to prevent repeat
victimisation for children depicted. Such filtering and blocking or taking
down of content could be paired with the use of splash pages. These are
webpages that will show up when people are trying to access removed
content and they can contain different types of deterrent messages. For
example they can inform people about illegality of CSAM, repercussions
when apprehended, refer to helplines as well as information on legal
frameworks.

Another way to create safer online environments is through reporting


hotlines, report and help buttons on websites where people can report on
illegal content in order for it to be blocked, and or can request help with
dangerous situations online (cooperation with private sector, NGOs
providing splash pages etc)… These elements are all starting to be slowly
implemented in India, of which Aarambh India again is a great proponent
and example.

Another example is help lines for offenders: help pedophiles to prevent


themselves from offending.. For example StopItNow! This is far from
established in India but could serve as an interesting example.

PROTECTION

- Helplines for children (Child Helpline International)

- Victim support for children affected and to prevent re-offending.


Obviously, ideally such support systems should also look at the
specific characteristics that come with online offending. More
research into that is needed.

PROSECUTION

- Criminalizing conducts & advocating with governments to criminalize


more conducts. The policy and legal framework for cyber security in
India is evolving and fairly enabling (i.e. Information Technology Act
2000; National Cyber Security Policy 2013) but there is much room
for improvement (will not go into detail now);

- - Defining child sexual abuse material in a way that is inclusive of


digitally generated…

- Cross-border cooperation is very important since issue is online, no


borders in the world wide web. Offender might be in one country,
victim in the other, service provider in an other, physical server again
in another. So need for extradition, extra-territorial legislation
(pursuing your people if they are committing offenses abroad; being
able to send person home) etc..

- Law enforcement training, for example by INTERPOL… to build


capacity in how to secure digital evidence, how to hear child victims
etc… Also advocating for law enforcement to be empowered… Or
Private sector partners developing tools for LE to quicker go through
cases (vb Photo DNA, similar for videos etc..)

This is not an extensive list of activities but is to provide you with some
examples of work

Other activities are for example Research in the characteristics of SECO as


well as developing tools to be used by law enforcement and industry to
investigate and combat such cases.

The session ended with vote of thanks to the resource person.

.....................................................................................................
16.00 PM -16.45 PM

Topic: Special Session of the Sixth Anti Trafficking in Persons


Conclave.

Resource persons:

• Consul General Craig Hall, US Consulate Kolkata.


• Shri Nitish Kumar, Honourable Chief Minister, Government of Bihar.

The session was moderated by Senior Journalist Shri Jaishankar Gupta,


Executive Editor Deshbandu, and President Press Association of India.
Firstly he welcome the Hon'ble Chief Minister and Us Consulate Kolkata
followed by garlanding session and thanked them for being a part of this
6th Anti Trafficking In Persons Conclave which brought people from
different regions to work towards the curbing of the issue of Human
Trafficking.

Mr. Jaishankar mentioned about the work done by Hon'ble Chief Minister
in Bihar such as banning of alcohol, child marriages, dowry systems as well
as changes in the mindset of the people. Thereafter he mentioned about
the concept of trafficking, its types and the purposes of trafficking.
Reflecting all these issues, he makes the speech with a hope that Chief
Minister would take the same initiative in the issue of trafficking as well.
Thereafter the session was taken over by Consul General Craig Hall, US
Consulate Kolkata. Mr. Craig also welcomed the Hon'ble Chief Minister and
expresses the honour to address the stage. He mainly reflected on the
purpose of Uniting with India for the cause of human trafficking. Following
points were mentioned by him:

• Human Trafficking is a transnational issue, which occurs around the


globe. Therefore no one country or state can work alone in solving
the issue.
• This platform i.e. 6th Anti Trafficking In persons Conclave helps in
strengthening the network, share experiences, opinions, ideas, best
practices and the planning of the strategies for future.
• He mentioned that India has potential to do so much than the other
countries. America believes that India and America working together
has so much of potential to address the challenges of 21st century.
• India in collaboration with America is working in the wide range of
issues everything from space, explorations, defence relationships and
Indian and American scientist working together to cure tuberculosis.
One of the important area in which India and America is working
together is on the world's oldest democracy to promote human rights
especially to most vulnerable amongst us.
• On the agenda of Human Rights i.e. human trafficking, India and
America is working on tracking of the cases with the help of software.

As already mentioned it is not just the problem of India or America alone,


networking or building partnership with each other is very important and
6th Anti Trafficking In Person's Conclave is all about strengthening the
network in the fight against Human Trafficking.

Hon'ble Chief Minister of Bihar Mr. Nitish kumar

The Hon. Chief Minister started his talk by thanking all the members present
and thanked Shakti Vahini and US Consulate for taking this great initiative
to work against the issue.

Human Trafficking is the global problem. Further he added that


Children/women from the vulnerable sections of the society are the easy
targets of the traffickers. Traffickers use the method of marriage, lure them
on the pretext of jobs in cities etc. After one gets trafficked, he/she is
transported to different places where they are used for the purpose of
sexual exploitation, organ trade, kidnapping, abduction, illicit adoption etc
where the trafficked people are abused physically, mentally, emotionally,
tortured etc. Thereafter he mentioned about the vulnerable zones of
trafficking i.e. the areas which falls under North east areas of Bihar.
Further he mentioned that the government has been working towards the
issues of child labour, child marriage, dowry system and other related social
issues but as per him unless the disparity that is present is not addressed,
crime would continue.

Thereafter he reflected on the work he has been doing. Firstly he stated


about the banning of alcohol in the whole of Bihar and its effect. He even
shared the example of providing the school uniform to the students of upper
Primary level as they had the information that due to lack of proper clothes,
many students started dropping out from school. After this initiative the
attendance in the upper primary level schools increased. Adding to it they
have been still working to improve the quality of education through the
deployment of SHG workers in the school so that the school management
would function well.

Thereafter he shared the example of distributing bicycles to the school


going children which not only brought the changes in the attendance of the
school but it also changed the mindset of the people.

In regard to trafficking, he gave the positive response and has asked to


give the proposals in regard to the abolition of placement agencies that
play an important role in transporting people to different countries and
agencies. He would provide full support in the field of Anti Trafficking, and
also the people working in field of anti trafficking can ask for his support
and help if needed. He was very positive about the issue and have asked
for the recommendations from the organisations, people working in this
field.
Time: 16.45Pm – 17.45 PM
Topic: Local Voices – Bihar

LOCAL VOICES

A. Mrs. Shilpi Singh, Director, Bhumika Vihar (NGO)

The organization have been actively working in Bihar and investigating


cases of child marriage within and outside the state. It must be viewed in
its entirety because the premise may change but the abuse remains the
same. Many NGOs have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure
that no victims misses/loses out on their one chance at getting justice and
it is these organizations who are most active and sometimes facing the
maximum peril. The problem of child marriage is amalgamated with child
sexual exploitation, forced marriage, forced and free labour and bonded
labour. A woman or a girl who has been tossed into such an institutional
set up, having the sacredness paramount to divinity wherein the power
differential is in favor of the man, leaves the woman ignored, vulnerable to
exploitation and in danger or irreversible loss. The concept of marriage in
India operates on the belief that a woman, who is a housewife is responsible
for all the house work ranging from caretaking, cooking, cleaning,
nurturing, basic education of children, field work, fetching water, managing
expenses, etc. The list is illustrative. The responsibilities dumped on them
come without guarantees or returns. They essentially becomes free house
maids and cheap labour which is bound by social norms. When the same is
replicated in the case of children, it should be understood in isolation of
such social structures, because it entails intercourse with a child which is
an offence under POCSO that has been formulated especially to deem such
practices null and void. Sex with a minor is a crime. Marriage should not
validate or justify it at any cost. A 12 year old who is made to toil in the
fields, becomes a sex slave during the night as there is nothing more that
she can offer in terms of companionship or mental maturity in an equally
balanced relationship. There must be a law that denounces such a belief.
In many cases police refuse to file FIRs simply because the clause of
marriage is involved making it a domain of personal law and thus beyond
intervention. This mindset needs to be mended and changed immediately
and sensitization is the way forward. Bhumika Vihar works in the Kosi belt
which is a trafficking prone area and a hub for trafficking for forced
marriages. Even though the situations have vastly improved today,
interventions have increased and FIRs have been lodged in crimes against
children there is a lot of room for improvement. The organizations working
in the area, have established camaraderie and effective working
relationship to strengthen the response mechanisms. Till the police stations
the victims are still within the reach of the NGOs who have the capacity to
the help and the cases are manageable. However, as soon as the
statements are done and the court proceedings commence, the process
becomes overly complicated, with numerous hurdles ranging from access
to the victim, counselling which is interrupted in favor of depositions,
examinations and witness processes. As soon as the defense can, they
apply for bail and in almost all cases it is granted. This is extremely
discouraging for the NGO and the victim as they are required to report
regularly in pursuance of justice whereas the grant of bail helps the criminal
evade the arm of law, as most of them abscond never to be found again.
It is anyway quite difficult to detain anyone, and it’s disheartening when
the ones found and arrested are also not held accountable for their actions.
Many NGOs work in perilous situations in dangerous areas amongst criminal
elements and do so at great personal risk. Their efforts should be
recognized by the courts and the government and they must also be
provided protection, when they venture in the field. It is especially so
because the police and the court also rely on the local knowledge and
expertise of such organizations. For instance they have been called upon to
counsel victims, sensitize families, conduct home investigations to facilitate
the restoration process etc. This means that they are crucial to the process
and thus must be valued for their contribution accordingly.

Another hurdle is the constant change in police personnel and government


officials. While the law and problem remains the same the administration
changes which changes the entire dynamic of the relationships and
networks established with them. The sudden, unplanned changes in the
departments and local stations is challenging because the entire process of
networking has to be repeated with different people over and over again,
which is taxing and never ending.

B. Shri Jitender Kumar Singh, Senior Managar, Prayas JAC

Today Raid and Rescue which is conducted by organizations has been


glamorized. While that is a mandate of almost every organization, the
challenge lies in the Rehabilitation and Prevention aspect of dealing with
trafficking. It is an area which is an unfamiliar arena for most of us and
thus extremely difficult. Despite repeated attempts and pleas in courts, and
efforts of the NGOs and civil society organizations this area has remained
largely untouched and whatever progress has been made is negligible. It is
unwise to belittle any effort but the problem of trafficking lies in
vulnerability and the solution lies in removing that vulnerability through
empowerment which requires political will and social development. Most
NGOs have limited resources as mere passion for social activism is not
enough. There are many Rehabilitation schemes introduced at the state
and central level but the implementation has been less than satisfactory. It
is only recently that the causes of trafficking have been seriously looked
into and preventive measures have begun but that still leaves a vast
majority who must be rescued and reunited with the society which requires
detailed investigation into the ways to do so and implement them at the
soonest. Skill development is one such way. There is no dearth of manual
resource in India and everyday new avenues open up. Most of the
rehabilitation/compensation amount to be given to them is delayed and
reaches them far too late and sometimes none at all, and only with the
continued help of NGOs. The process of availing the amount and using it
requires paper work that is tedious and time taking and often defeats the
will of the victims. In order to get the amount released from the DLSA
victims also have to make several trips to the state offices which is an
expensive affair. The investigation into the cases must be thorough. Most
of the inter-state police co-ordinations are inefficient as jurisdictional issues
cause havoc and prevent proper investigation from taking place. A major
role is played by the senior police officials as well, who are at the helm and
must conduct these matters sensitively. The police are often unwilling to
make the journey from destination to source or vice-versa. This is an old
practice solidified by lackadaisical attitude over the years which never gave
importance to the victim but is unacceptable today. There has been no
increase or improvement in prosecution and all the cases have gone cold.
The hard work done by NGOs goes to waste when prosecution is not up to
the mark. It must be weighed against the will of the traffickers and their
successful operation wherein they run amok while the victim is caught in
the web of legal procedures, unable to free herself from the threatening
clutches of the traffickers and the defeating experience with the justice
system. They have managed to work free and repeat the crime time and
again creating more victims whereas the law struggles with basic issues to
filing complaint and providing protection even with the availability of
resources.

There is lack of institutional care in remote areas. In many cases the victims
are treated as offenders. There should be a resource mapping of all NGOs
working in different states and locations so that everyone is available for
the services they offer. It was unfortunate to realize that up until 2010,
only 10 FIRs had been registered against PPA while they had flourished with
the help of agents and traffickers. It was only through later intervention of
officers like Aradhana Singh in Jharkhand that most of them are now under
the scanner and several are behind bars.

C. Baidyanath: Activist, Jharkhand

There are a few problems which are glaring and identifiable at the very
outset.

a. No inter-state coordination: Human trafficking by nature involves


movement across state borders and thus requires concerted efforts
of all involved. This is lacking in terms of will and initiative as the
police pass the buck as soon as it involves extra time and attention
on their part. There are many groups that have been identified over
the years who operate with a fixed clique of traffickers/agents who
are natives or locals and thus active in the community. Not even an
iota of reliable data has been developed in this regard or have
complaints been filed which can point in the right direction, to help
the police and the local organizations. There is room for creation of
data and intelligence which is severely lacking.
b. The cases of missing persons have not been treated with the gravity
and seriousness they deserve by virtue of the fact that they cannot
be calculated conclusively because of lack of accountability. They are
never treated at par with other criminal cases. This again creates
apathy and a loose moral attitude. Children and women go missing
every day and our experience suggests that most of them are
trafficked and exploited as a result of their status, which gives very
little importance to their life and liberty. Our responses in these
matters are very slow and lacking the gumption required in rescuing
the needy from their adversity.
c. The AHTUs have been established with the sole objective to address
human trafficking in its entirety from investigation to support to
awareness generation. It must be noted, however, that after 2010 no
AHTU has received funds from the MHA which has rendered it crippled
and ineffective, because manpower alone cannot fight the scourge
which is advancing every day. The traffickers are technologically
superiors while our police systems struggles with basic technical
operations.
d. There are old and established perceptions against the police which is
full of mistrust. The normal population even though relies heavily on
the police refuses to trust them or assist them. It takes enormous
effort to get them to help in community outreach programs and/or
assist in court proceedings which is the most crucial leg of the process
as witness statements carry significant weightage in the courts.

D. Ravi Shankar Tiwari, Assistant Director in Child Protection,


Government of Bihar

The most important issues and basic challenges can be laid down as under:

a. Lack of awareness. There is very little will to understand the problem


amongst the people who would prefer to turn a blind eye to the issue
rather than deal with it head on. The government has taken
cognizance of it and working to improve that by spreading the word
in social and political circles.
b. There must be an evaluation on a personal and social level regarding
perceptions. As a social experiment we must ask ourselves, whether
and how much do we communicate with our children? How much time
do we spent or if we do, in preparing them for the world and its
challenges? These are simple questions but necessary but for the
most part the answer has been veering towards the negative as the
care and protection needed by them starts at home and if that is
lacking, it affects the core competency of an individual from childhood
to adulthood and further on in life. A set of topics that must be
discussed can be as follows:
i. Good Touch and Bad Touch
ii. Open conversations about physical and mental growth,
hormonal changes, adolescence, teenage years, anxiety, sex,
menstrual health, relationships, etc.
iii. Encouragement to report anything and everything that may
seem off or untoward from the child’s perspective. This can be
possible only when we create a safe environment which talks
to children and resolves issues rather than imposing
expectations on them which may be beyond the understanding
of their tender years.
iv. Allow and encourage victims to come forward. When reporting
is encouraged, it helps build trust within peers as well as with
elders. The concept of victim, offender, right and wrong must
be clarified time and again so that children don’t withdraw into
themselves and trust their reliable elders to help with the
problem.
v. The issue whenever and however, if it comes to light be it of
labour or sexual abuse must be investigated at the earliest
without fail and without doubting the child. They must be taken
into confidence, and their trust maintained so that they become
part of the recovery process rather than become isolated from
it.
vi. Once abused, a child becomes exposed to the crime and
becomes more vulnerable to trafficking. If the abuse is not
checked or stopped at the earliest the child may become numb
or normal to it accepting it without question. Subsequently,
they can either revolt against it by trying to escape the situation
or by acting out in different ways which can render them
misunderstood for life. These vulnerabilities are exploited as
traffickers look for such children who are either desperate to
evade their crippling circumstances or want to help their
parents. As such laws like POCSO and JJ Act must be applied
which have provisions for punishment and protection.
vii. Many parents exhibit denial and suppress the matter. This
means that there should be widespread counselling and
awareness amongst them as well, at the school and community
level.

The challenge of our times also lies in socialization structures and means
adopted to introduce or assimilate children into the society, which is often
unregulated and unchecked. Gender disparities play a significant role over
here as girls and boys are treated differently from the very beginning. While
the male child is given preference whether it be school or clothing or food,
the female child is deprived of the same affection, and this neglect creates
a psychological shift wherein both the children start perceiving themselves
in a different light. While the boy starts exhibiting tendencies akin to
privilege and entitlement, the girls starts to assume the role of a submissive
who value is less, her opinion insignificant and her wants/desires always
taking a back seat in preference of males. This attitude development carries
into adolescence and adulthood making women vulnerable to abuse and
easy prey at the hands to pedophiles and abusive husbands. In order to
create an environment of sympathy and understanding, a social experiment
was conducted in schools where the children was asked to close their eyes
and imagine that they had been sedated and their right arm had been cut
off or was useless. Anything they could, would have to exclude the use of
the right arm. They were then asked to imagine the same about thousands
of children who could not use any part of their body or mind being in a
perpetual state of drug-induced forced functioning, against their will. They
were then asked to be alert ad vigilant to become the reporting eyes and
ears of the police and society, as just like their missing hand, several kids
were untraced deprived of family, friends, food, love and games.
Therefore, kids must be sensitized to the problem and be used for their
intuition. Similarly, parents and teachers must be sensitized to the problem.
The challenge lies in combating the repulsive outlook against sexual offence
that has taken hold over the years. The query that was raised regarding
the multiplicity of laws must be understood in terms of the fact that multiple
laws increase the rate of conviction and help the prosecution.

Question #1: How can one criticize the police when we work with them?

Mrs. Shilpi Singh: It is not the criticism of the police, rather problems and
issues faced together. They are the law enforcement and we have to work
with them. There is a glaring lack of infrastructure and facility which must
be provided to the police otherwise we cannot expect them to be present
everywhere. It is our responsibility as citizens to empower ourselves with
knowledge and skill so that we can become helping hands rather than
liabilities for the police.

Question #2: What are the challenges you have faced while working with
the law enforcement?

Shri Jitender Kr. Singh: In Bihar, which shares international boundary


with Nepal we have received extensive support from the SSB, who take
steps to enable the law enforcement within the state and the NGOs who
function in those areas. However, the GRP at the Railways have shown poor
conduct in investigation and intervention. This may be due to lack of
knowledge, awareness or sensitivity. They have shown reluctance in filing
FIRs because it makes them accountable for investigation and increases
the crime rate in their area bringing them under for the same. It also entails
that they do the necessary work which is almost impossible due to lack of
resources and training. As such there are fundamental drawbacks that have
to be addressed before the problem can be resolved and the law
enforcement can be blamed.

E. Shri Rizwanul Rehman, Tatwasi Samaj Nyas, Purnea


a. There should a national helpline number for people who are stuck in
exploitative situations resembling trafficking through kidnapping,
abduction, abuse of authority and the like. This can be achieved
through increased participation of the community and the media. It
should simple like CHILDLINE or Women’s Helpline and operated
24*7. It will not only provide employment but also increase the base
of support systems and stakeholders while setting the tone for
counselling from the get go. The operators must be trained
professionals and must be induced into it from college or school
levels.
b. The MHA should extend more help in the form of funds, technical
support and manpower.
c. The ICPS scheme is a centrally sponsored scheme which has funds
allocated for almost every stakeholder except the law enforcement.
The ICPS scheme is aimed to provide maximum benefit to the child.
The police being the first responders must have a share and a say if
they have been included as stakeholders. This kind of exclusion is
unhealthy as it breeds distrust, which must be eliminated if one has
to combat human trafficking.
d. There have been many difficulties in the implementation of the JJ Act.
This must be rectified at the earliest because it is the only law which
has holistic measures aimed to improve the condition of children in
any situation.

OPINION of Mr. GAUTAM, IAS

Mr. Gautam stated that there has been widespread criticism of the law
enforcement in the assembly which must be addressed and countered on
the basics. Some of his observations and opinions are as follows:

a. There is immense pressure on the SHOs and senior officers who are
constantly shuffling between several departments in course of duty.
Many times they have to pacify vested interests which may be
political in nature. The civilian population cannot be expected to
understand the pressure but the NGOs who are in the field and work
with the law must understand this position and extend their help by
helping with the community.
b. There are many police officers who have sacrificed their lives in the
line of duty. They are nameless heroes who have fulfilled their pledge
and protected the society to the best of their ability.
c. The police must be assisted in developing the network and database
of traffickers and offenders because the large mounds of data has to
be sorted and analyzed to be used. This expertise lies with the
government or professionals who have full freedom to approach the
police and avail the same. This not only helps the police who are over
burdened with cases belonging to different sectors but creates a
relationship of understanding and communication. The police has
always been ready to work with NGO sector as their efforts are
recognized, because like the police they are the feet and eyes on the
ground.
d. The police must be assisted in doing the actual gritty work. Even
though they enforce the law, they are not the law. They are the arms
are legs which are often changed as governments change and
administrations start anew. The NGOs are in the best position to do
so. Most police officers are stations and overburdened. The traffickers
are aware of this and use it against the police themselves which is
already reeling under the weight of distrust and dissatisfaction from
an uncooperative public. They use the public mentality against them.
This attitude must be rectified and one must join hands to defeat the
agenda of the traffickers. When we become strong in our response,
the criminals automatically become weak.
e. There should be modules or guidelines developed through NGO
partnership which elucidate the different nature of the crimes that
can be classified as trafficking crimes. The study materials should be
developed in accordance with the needs of the police who have to
intervene in sensitive matters and apply the sections accordingly.
Many times new officers are not aware of the relevant sections.
f. To tackle this, there should be training or sensitization programs or
model FIRs for any and every type of crime which includes all possible
aspects related to trafficking so that silly mistakes can be avoided
and the police can provide maximum legal support to the victims. A
detailed list of possible sections in the module is another way to do
so.
g. The agenda must be to prevent witnesses from turning hostile,
because they are scared. Their faith in the justice system must be
maintained. This can be done by partnership with organizations
providing assistance in their area of work; wherein, one helps in
gathering and disseminating intelligence, another in filing FIR,
another during the trial phase, another during
prosecution/conviction, so on and so forth.

The officer shared that he has devised a personal network where he can be
reached on his email id which is open to the public where anyone can
anonymously drop information, essentially directly reporting it to the police.
This way he takes a personal interest into the cases and intervenes
accordingly.

Question #3: Can you involve the trafficker who has been convicted or in
a correctional home?

Answer: This is an ingenious method as in some cases where the NGO


itself became the complainant, a lot of information and support was
gathered from a former trafficker who had turned informer and was in a
correctional home. This can be done through permission from the IG of the
correctional home.
Time: 19.30 PM – 21.00 PM

Topic: Story Telling Programme & Networking Dinner at Hotel


Maurya

Honouring Individuals for their Exemplary Commitment to Combat


Human Trafficking:

Story telling session:

This story telling program was funded by the US Department of State. The
one week training with students of Howard University was a joint effort of
Shakti Vahini and US Consulate, Kolkata to make the program, a success.
All the participants in the story telling program were students from different
backgrounds; MBA degree holders, classical dancers, puppeteers and some
from the Vikramshila Institute.

The story was about various social issues and their effect on the society
and community. While working in the sector with various NGOs,
governments, law enforcement it was realized that public awareness is
needed. Without their support it is not possible to completely eradicate the
social causes of human trafficking.

The theme was women empowerment, their equality rights and position in
the society, weighed against the various reasons and problems of human
trafficking.

The theme of the story telling covered the following:

- Protection and safety of women


- Children’s safety
- Basic need of children such as education, food, clothing, sanitation
and health.

The dramatization was a narration on the ways children and women are
lured on the pretext of job opportunities, better lifestyle, marriage, etc.
They were brought by the trafficker from their hometowns and sold for
various purposes at different places, to multiple parties. It showed how
prevalent and easy it is, to be befriended by seemingly good strangers,
Poor parents are routinely brainwashed and their children taken away by
traffickers. Traffickers prey upon the emotional sensibilities of victims.

The story also highlighted the following issues:

- Dowry culture: Because of poor financial conditions, parents,


without investigating the groom and his family background, hand
over their daughter, in the name of marriage.
- Parents sell their children, sometimes more than once without
enquiring anything
- Children are trafficked for organ trade, flesh trade
- Trafficking has been happening for child labour, domestic servitude,
forced sex work, bonded labour and other forms of slavery
- Male dominance in Indian society.
- Patriarchy
- Discrimination against the girl child

In conclusion, the session relayed one Question raised in the


simple message of equality between the story:
sexes. This will happen by spreading
awareness regarding the various social How will the society survive or
evils and taking the pledge to denounce thrive if we keep continue
practices like dowry, discrimination, practices like female foeticide,
honour killing, any kind of slavery and infanticide, which affects all
human trafficking. Both the sexes are human life? This question
equal, and must be treated the same, needs to be asked of ourselves,
whether in terms of society or access to and now, before it’s too late.
education. Literacy must be encouraged
and promoted at all costs.

“The girl and boy are equal and both need to be equally educated”

Greg Pardo of the US consulate gave the vote of thanks to all the
performers and artists, congratulated them and added remarkable success
with which the play had been received in villages of Bihar, Chhattisgarh,
Jharkhand and West Bengal where it had been staged.

FELICITATION CEREMONY: President of Shakti Vahini, Mr. Ravi kant,


started the felicitation ceremony to honour the veterans and the people for
their tireless contribution to the cause.

➢ Mr. Manav Mondal

Mr. Mondal has been in the field for more than 25 years. His contribution is
invaluable, acting as a pillar of guidance for generations of activists to
follow. He has worked in the whole South Asia remains committed even
today.

➢ Shri. Shanta Kumar

The memento was accepted by a member of the SSB. Mr. Kumar’s


contribution in combating human trafficking has been tremendous.
Recently SSB rescued 8 children at the Indo-Nepal border. The situation at
the border has been brought under control because of the novel methods
of SSB.

➢ Mr. Vijay Parkas:


- He worked on CTS i.e. Child trafficking system. His innovative
intervention has made the mechanism more effective.
- Eradication of child labour.

➢ Smt. Kumari Manju Verma. The Hon’ble Minister for Samaj Kalyan,
Govt. of Bihar

She was awarded for her tremendous work and effort to combat trafficking
and other social issues in the state. The highlight of the program was cluster
based approach to stop re-trafficking in vulnerable villages in Bihar.

The day ended with a group photo and community dinner.


DAY II

13.05.17

Time: 9.00 AM – 10:00 AM


Topic: Young – Voices – Change makers
Resource Persons:
• Ms. Sadia Akhter Aurna – Bangladesh – Founder and Executive
Director at Daak Foundation
• Ms. Anjali Singh, Radio Mirchi
• Ms. Gautam Gauri, Diksha Foundation

Moderator: Greg Pardo, Asst. Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate Kolkata.


He welcomed the audience and invited the Transport Minister of Bihar on
stage.

Hon’ble Minister of Transport, of Bihar


He extended his gratitude to all present, with special mention to the
organizers, Shakti Vahini and US Consulate, and to Mr. Craig Hall.
Expressing concern over the sensitive matter of human trafficking, he
focused on the need for cooperation and collaboration. Amongst the
numerous problems plaguing the society, such as terrorism, over-
population, poverty, it may be difficult to continue the focus on trafficking,
but that should be no reason to be dissuaded, rather fight harder. The time
is ripe to think about eradicating trafficking from its roots, and work for
prevention, rather than cure. Traffickers take advantage of the family’s
poor financial background, social condition, status and social stability.

He thanked the organizers for the opportunity to express his views and
claim his stand against human trafficking. Transport plays a vital role in
combating trafficking, for which he committed the resolve of his
department, personally and professionally to raise awareness and check
trafficking in Bihar. He discussed the few means to this end.
- Posters and pamphlets at transport centres regarding human
trafficking
- Resource material to bus drivers, conductors, on HT while providing
special training on how to identify, prevent, check and report human
trafficking
- Training on ‘How to deal with victims’
- Information on basic helpline numbers, women helpline numbers and
CHILDLINE, NGOs, Homes through posters on the buses.
- Training on how to counsel victims, and to create a safe atmosphere
where they feel confident to come forward, speak freely about the
problem.
The Minister had recently called a meeting of all officials to this effect to
discuss the matter and raise this issue of human trafficking, so that the
department can contribute as best as possible.

Q #1: While government buses can be put to use, what about the private
buses and transport?
• While private transport companies cannot be directly questioned or
directed, the government and minister’s office holds the power to
exert pressure for minimum compliance, inquire and train them on
the issue while making suggestions for improvement.

Suggestion

At the time of getting permit, license and fitness


certificate, the bus and other transport operators should
be trained. The operators should mandatorily put anti-
human trafficking posters and messages on the vehicles
and be made aware of the ways of HT.
Mr. Ravi kant, President of Shakti Vahini, requested Mr. Greg Pardo to
continue the session. Mr. Greg Pardo welcomed the panellists for the
session introduced them, their background and their parent organization.
He added that in today’s age, social media plays a vital role in creating
awareness and highlighting social issues and challenges, thereby becoming
a strong medium of impact to bring revolution.

Ms. Sadia Akhter Aurna – Bangladesh – Founder and Executive


Director at Daak Foundation

A 19-year old from Bangladesh, she has been active in the social sector.
She shared her experiences and challenges faced on the field deriving
inspiration from her own experiences of harassment, growing up. She
visited slums to interact and teach women and children about “good/bad
touch”, “human trafficking”, its causes, effects, preventive measures. She
used technology and social media to make her sessions interesting, by
showing videos and pictures, which piqued a curiosity amongst the crowd,
enabling them to grasp more. She mentioned the increase in cybercrimes
and the success rate of its incidence.
Q: How do you use technology in your work?
A: In Bangladesh social media is very popular; people have smartphones
and are familiar with WhatsApp, Facebook. Their foray in the field i.e.
slums, created a sense of power among people that through social media
and internet, even one person can start the fight for justice. They showed
many inspirational videos, speeches, movies.
There is a generation gap, which undermines the role and importance of
every individual who has the ability to effect social change. We need to join
hands, raise our voices against the injustice and openly discuss the
situation.
- Sadia Akhtar Aurna

Ms. Anjali Singh, Radio Mirchi (RJ Anjali)

She works in the local radio channel. She shared her experience with
technology, its advancements and outputs, and that there are two sides to
a coin. Technology is nothing without human intervention making it useful
only with our intentions. In 2015 she was selected the ‘youth icon, Bihar’,
and works as an active social reformer in Bihar. India is a land of hidden
talents which needs to be discovered and harnessed through personal
investment. The media has transformed in the last 15 years, with shades
of positive and negative, both.

Positive media:
- People have a platform to raise their voice and express their views
- Through media and radio collective thought and suggestion can
create awareness among the mass on issues like human trafficking,
child marriage, dowry child labour, bonded labour etc.
- Liaison to spread the word on human trafficking. There is an urgent
need to talk on issues. For instance, during summer holidays schools
can organize a workshop to discuss social issues.

Negative media:
- Everything is online, so there are no guidelines and accountability.
- Anonymity

Radio is a theatre of mind and we should come up and speak about the
problem. It’s a platform to raise a roar against the human trafficking and
other issues.
RJ Anjali

Suggestion:
- Radio should give/provide space to speak on need for public
awareness and socially relevant issues, much like the separate
column given in the magazine and newspapers.
- Need to be vocally ready to raise voice against crime, and follow it
up with action.

Power of Radio (media): She shared the story of a missing old lady in
Pune. The studio received a received a call about a missing woman, with
details on her disappearance, spot, time, and the caller sought help to
locate and rescue her. The studio continuously aired the information, and
within a few hours she was found. Similarly, calls for urgent blood
requirement are announced on the radio station, and almost all times there
has been immediate response from the blood donors. Such is the power of
the media and radio.
Ms. Gautam Gauri, Diksha Foundation

His journey in the social sector, being from the different background, was
tough and he couldn’t establish his organization because of lack of
acceptance from the people. He was inspires by friends and professionals
in the sector.

Diksha Foundation provides computer education to children; makes them


aware about the digital world. They started a digital study hall which
provides recorded study materials to students. He stressed upon the two
pillars of the study and education, which are Arithmetic/numeric and
theoretical, to be understood as a digital tool. Privacy as an issue is
thoroughly discussed as it is important for children, who are the most
vulnerable group. The sessions include group discussions, features of social
media platforms, books and they also organize various workshops to
highlight privacy matters. With child protection as a priority, better
mechanisms have to be devised and their implementation be monitored.

Challenges:
- Gaining trust is a big challenge and to retain it, sharing of views is
essential
- Trust takes times, which needs and patience and consistency.
- Building trust with the community
-
Q: Can there be a radio program in West Bengal to create awareness among
the people?
A: Yes, without a doubt. The Speaker expressed his desire to come to WB,
with his team and conduct programmes to create awareness on human
trafficking other child issues. Storytelling is a strong medium of
communication with great impact on the mass but the essence of the
message should be concrete and short, or else people lose interest.

Time: 10.00 AM - 11.00 AM

Topic of Discussion: Raising Awareness and Changing Society - Role


of Media, Social Media as Partners in Combating Human Trafficking

Speakers

• Ms Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters on Thomson Reuters Foundation


Special Focus and Coverage on Ending Modern day Slavery.
• Mr. Sidarth Pandey, NDTV India
• Mr. Jaishankar Gupta, Editor, Loksatta
• Mr. Sanjay Singh, Editor Panchayat Nama, Prabhat Khabar
• Mr. Pranab Kumar Choudhury, Senior Journalist, Patna
• Ms Anwesha Banerjee, Ei Samay, Kolkata.

Ms Nita Bhalla, Thomson Reuters.


Thomson Reuters Foundation Special Focus and Coverage on
Ending Modern day Slavery

The Speaker is based in Delhi and covers South East Asia. They work in the
area of climate change, women’s rights, child rights, slavery and disaster,
which are interlinked. Thomson Reuters stands for independent impartial
news, with correspondents across the world. Their reporting is distributed
to local news channels where the focus is not on international media rather
on the local situation, because grassroots development has more impact on
the readers.

They focus on supply-chain stories which reveal the connection between


sources of trafficking, victims and the mid-level workers. They did a story
in Tamil Nadu where girls were taken to garment factories for two years,
with a promise of Rs. 72,000, which was not given to them rather they
were exploited mentally and physically. Another story was on bonded
labourer, in brick factories, which employed trafficked children. They have
also worked with the tea garden labourers, where the stories focused on
drawing attention of the masses to the reality behind tea cultivation, which
was derived from bonded and forced labour. This way, they connect to the
audience, by revealing the truth of everyday life of victims, and how it has
a direct and indirect influence on our day-to-day lives. The speaker shared
a video where the children working in mines met with untimely death. This
is prevalent in Jharkhand being carried on illegally where a lot of children
are working due to lack of opportunities. They were working inside and
outside of this mine, and outside they were picking mica from there. And
when during the monsoon season they went deep inside the mines, the
mines were collapsing. And the children were being buried alive inside these
mines. The film showed the whole family was affected and young children
were buried alive. And this was not by choice, but it was mainly make ends
meet. All the other industries using and mining mica, after the report
wanted to get involved and resolve the issue which had a positive impact
on the people. There were nuns from Bhutan, Nepal and Ladakh who came
together, and cycled across the Himalayas stopping at villages along the
way to talk about human trafficking after the earthquake. They also train
journalists in India who complete two courses every year. They are taught
how to interview survivors, photograph events, understand legal methods,
issues, and procedures which help them on the field. They conducted the
trainings in Patna previously, are planning to have another in Kolkatta.

Mr. Sidarth Pandey, NDTV India

Mr. Sidharth Pandey, NDTV India shared a video from the Nepal
earthquake. In the movie a man who used to work manually lost his house
and livelihood the Earthquake. In order to repair his house, he took a loan
of 1 lakh Nepali Rupees, being promised a job in Malaysia, but he ended up
being a virtual prisoner. When he wanted to go back to his home, his
traffickers didn’t allow him. He was told that they had bought him, hence
had full possession of him, hence he had no rights to leave the place. He
managed to contact his family in Nepal with help of his friends, and an NGO
helped him reach home. His condition was reported to be pathetic, with no
money to feed himself, no medical assistance, proper shelter, and his
passport was confiscated preventing his escape. He was threatened with
arrest if he attempted to leave. This was a prime example of men being
trafficked for hard labour. He had to make 15 chairs a day, which was not
humanly possible.

A documentary called ‘Nepal Not for sale’, depicts this scenario in detail
NDTV conducted a sting operation at a place where they could buy girls at
cheap rates, to be taken to part of the world, through fake passports. The
traffickers organized everything for a mere 6000 Nepali Rupees, which was
the price of a human being. To combat Human Trafficking media, NGOs,
Civil society, governments have to work together, as this is the only
effective way of dealing with organised crime.

He shared an incident from Delhi, where he was doing a cover story at a


slum area where there was an open sewage pipe. He was informed that a
few kids lived in that sewage pipe. The children were as young as 7 to 5
years. They planned a stakeout and got hold of the children. The children
revealed that their parents had gotten into a huge fight and they had run
away from their home. They somehow reached Delhi and started living in
that sewage pipe. The children expressed their grievances, of being chased
by policemen for stealing, their money, however minimal it was, being
taken away from them. It was a simple story but it had tremendous impact,
where after they received police protection. The story had a happy ending
as the children are in better place in better living conditions.

Mr. Jaishankar Gupta, Editor, Loksatta

He shared the story of a girl from West Bengal who was trafficked to Delhi
one year ago. There wasn’t a single spot on her body without red marks,
cuts or bruises and her tongue was also cut. But this news was not shown
in any news channel or newspaper. In other news, Pakistani army killed
murdered Indian soldiers; their body were cut into pieces. This was followed
by news that stated that Indian army had taken revenge and destroyed the
army base of Pakistani army which was immediately taken back, as the
army denied of any such incidence. He expressed regret and disdain on the
part of such media, who focus on fake stories rather than reporting the
harsh realities of citizens. He also talked about the Devdasi practice of south
India where girls are sold into culturally practiced prostitution in the name
of God. He also talked about socials evils that still exist in modern India. In
name of religion women are sold, bought and exploited.
Mr. Pranab Kumar Choudhury, Senior Journalist, Patna.

He mainly focused on media's role in Patna and reflected on the importance


of local journalist/reporter which includes those from the grass root level
community to be used as resource persons. He mentioned few points which
could be included in the field of media.

1. Importance of directory of grass root level journalists with contact details


to ensure that each child is safe in the community and each and every issue
is reported. In the same context he shared that traffickers make extensive
use of the modern technology like WhatsApp, Facebook etc. There he asked
the audience as to why the same can't be done to catch traffickers or
prevent such heinous crime from happening.

2. Secondly, he focused on the research to be conducted at bricklins as


these are some areas where many are trafficked and engaged. Research
would help in accumulating information on criminal network, political
linkages, patterns, details of factory owners with locations etc. Thereafter
we can find the methods used and the areas affected.

3. Lastly he reflected upon the study to be done on massage parlours as


these are one of the places where sexual activities are carried on and is
growing as well. He focussed on the skill development training to be
provided in each and every place so as to prevent trafficking in persons.
Ms Anwesha Banerjee, Ei Samay, Kolkata.

She mentioned that, her newspaper covers trafficking news most of the
time and at time she even contacts Shakti Vahini for information, and
whether there has been any news related to trafficking to be published in
the newspapers.

She said, however, that if only trafficking news are reported in the papers,
there would be fatigue amongst readers. Instead, she gave some ideas on
how to reflect the trafficking news with other information such that media
can portray the use of new technologies used to prevent trafficking or the
networks used in trafficking etc. In the same context, she shared a story
about shelter homes, where rescued girls were kept yet traffickers were
able to make contact with them. If such thing happens then the trafficking
cycle would continue. Therefore, all these incidents need to be documented
and given to the media. At times it may not be good news, but if it is in line
with creating awareness then the frequency of its reportage should be
increased. She suggested that at times, it is also possible to enable
survivors to share their stories.

Thereafter, there was a suggestion from the audience to encourage


journalists, by organising the award functions for ground breaking and new-
age reporting. Few things like sensitivity towards the issue, responsibility
as media persons should be noted while giving the award.
Time: 11:15 AM – 12:30 PM

Topic: Learning of best practices and community outreach of the


Trafficking in persons Caravan in Bihar, west Bengal and Jharkhand

• Ms. Ananya Bhattacharya, Director, Bangla Natak

She gave an introductory speech on how the caravan had started and the
places they had been to. The caravan was used to mobilize the population.
It was an initiative by Bangla Natak dot com, Shakti Vahini and US
consulate.

It was done mainly to address trafficking, generate awareness amongst the


masses, shed light on their rights and measures to combat this crime, by
using preventive and protective methods. It included storytelling, drama
and skit shows. It was carried out in West Bengal, parts of Jharkhand.

There was a video show where the caravan was going around 24 Paraganas,
West Bengal and raising awareness among the masses, with the
involvement of the police, students and resource persons. It was mobilized
through songs, drama, skit, dance, etc. and other means to reach
maximum people for them to could relate, and get enlightened about the
scenarios in Human Trafficking and how to can combat the organized crime.
There was huge involvement of the local people, women and children,
where they were told about the issues and situations which warranted
protection, viz. child marriage, child labor, child trafficking, exploitation,
bonded labourer.

They were informed about schemes and Acts that are provided by the govt.
essential as a social benefit, role of the government in providing the
schemes and facilities to meet their basic necessities. This made them
understand that there is little need for them to go outside to work, and get
prone to trafficking. “The victims of trafficking are going through so much
of evil, and they have to face so much of atrocities. So we all should come
together to fight against trafficking”.
There were stories of how the people are being trafficked and they are
facing worse situations.

There was a session on how the victims of prostitution suffer the worse
fates. Lastly, it was stated that it is important for us to work together in
order to combat the human trafficking and eradicate it from the roots, by
collaboration and joint efforts.

Later, the moderator called the people who were in the carvan journey in
different states to share their experiences and challenges they came across
while having this programme.

Surbhi Sarkar, from West Bengal

The members of various NGOs came forward to help in the initiative and
provided every possible help. The PLVs, NGOs, and other govt. officials
extended their support, while close links were created with the grass root
people. It was proposed that other organizations should follow sui,t, which
was applauded by all stakeholders.

Amit Parui, Jharkhand

He said that the program was a huge success and it felt great to learn and
interact from the experience, some of which he shared as follows:
1. They went to a place called Bishunpur to perform the skit where a
villager approached them for help in locating his missing son. He was
taken to the police, to file and FIR and assured swift action by the
police.
2. They went to tribal areas where many villagers told them that they
were aware of the various govt. schemes but not how to avail them.
They tried to make them aware about the schemes.

Partners: CINI, Plan India, World Vision, Child line, Domestic work
association, GVB, all India radio, city radio, ASHA, BSS, AANCHAL. He
thanked the districts police officials for their whole hearted support.

Ms. Moloy Das, From Bihar

He shared his experience from Jaynagar railway station. There was a


man, who came forward for help as his children and wife had gone missing.
The team talked with women police helpline and village Pradhan, wherafter
the police assured that the victim’s family would be rescued soon. He
expressed his gratitude to the partners who helped in carrying out the
program such as Pratham, Jan jagran sansthan, Justice Venture, Bhoomika
vihar, Justice and care, Gram Vikas Kendra, AHTU, and local authorities and
the police officials etc.

The moderator said that they had conducted an online competition and
participants from states such as Jharkhand, West Bengal and Bihar,
including children had to make doodles. Winners were announced and
prizes were given out. Mr. Greg Pardo was called to do the honours. The
team in ‘Nukkad Natak’ from Spotlight Theatre performed at 119 places in
3 different districts in Jharkhand.

The skit conveyed a beautiful message where it was stated that when we
step out from our houses every day, if we pay good attention and become
aware, and keep updated on the happenings in society and state then we
can notice things and stop human trafficking. What is needed is awareness
and collective will.

Skit Description:

Child marriage, without dowry, where the victim was sold as the parents
couldn’t fulfil the demands of their in-laws. She was exploited and rescued
after a raid in the brothel house. She was shown to be in bad mental and
physical shape due to the continue torture. It was shown that even after
the husband/accused was arrested, and she was reunited with her family,
he parents rejected her.

Message: Right to education, right to life, and equal opportunities to be


given to the girls, to fight the social prejudices, to which she is entitled.

Q: Why was girl (victim) caught in that situation?

A: Her family had handed her to the boy and its family without inquiring
about their background.

Q: Who is called child and what is the age of child according to the law?

A: According to the JJ Act any person below or equal to age 18 is called as


child, and as per the Child Labour law the child below or equal to age 14 is
totally exempted from any kind of work.

Animation film, Anjan Shafar: The film was about a girl who was
promised a high paying job, and she is trafficked. The message was about
being careful and cautious about opportunities, and to do our research
before taking up such offers.
CONCLUSION
Mr. Ravi Kant thanked the participants for their contribution during the two-
day conclave. In his ‘Vote of Thanks’, he thanked the Hon’ble Consul
General for his presence during the programme, the organizers from the
Consulate, Kolkata for their support in the Conclave, speakers in the
sessions and panel discussions, the team of Shakti Vahini and the audience
for being supportive and making the event a grand success. Concluding his
vote of thanks, Mr Kant, promised to keep fighting against the evil, with
full support and co-ordination from various organizations and law
enforcement agencies.
Recommendations

1. Increase communication to reduce the caste and class segregation


in Bihar, through awareness about equal rights. The constitutional
mandate should be at the forefront of the discussion that prohibits
and criminalizes any manner of marginalization and discrimination.
2. Make education accessible to all children from all strata of the society
and community.
3. Use local governance mechanisms to increase awareness on availing
the schemes and entitlements for the poor and underprivileged.
4. Increase awareness on child labour, its ramifications and ways to
prevent it, at villages, in regions with a history of employing children.
This should be done by holding the factory and employers
accountable and enabling the parents to see beyond the short-term
benefits of children in employment.
5. Schools must devise methods to include sex education and physical
education in their curriculum. The challenges of adolescence and
puberty must be addressed directly. Parents and teachers should
spearhead the drive, through direct communication with children.
6. Encourage family planning. The state government should collaborate
with the Health Department, the Women and Child Department and
Human Resources Department to illustrate upon the issue. Birth
control, use of contraceptives, the positive effects of family planning,
the effect of large families on the parents and the state, should be
considered, to be included as part of social awareness drive. Large
families with low income are more prone to falling prey to trafficking.
7. Use tools like social media, radio, TV, street plays, slam poetry
competitions, dramatizations, posters, pictures, movies, etc. to
spread awareness amongst masses of all categories, from the rich to
poor, young and old alike through the most accessible mediums.
8. The State Action Plan to Eliminate Child Labour is comprehensive and
must be implemented to its full capacity. It is imperative that all
departments pool in their resources to PROTECT child labourers. Loss
of childhood is aggravated by the trauma and abuse suffered by
victims, who lead hard lives as adults, very often unable to fully
contribute to the society.
9. Large scale trafficking and employment in child labour deprives the
state of healthy, skilled citizens reducing the quality of its economy,
which is evident in Bihar. PREVENTION of child labour must be taken
up as a vital social agenda to protect the existing and future
generations from missing out on a dignified life, guaranteed under
the constitution.
10. Mobilize all Anti-human Trafficking Units, through capacity building,
training, sensitization programs, exchange of information, creation
of database, and increase their rate of intervention at the most
vulnerable areas.
11. The Labour Department and Child Welfare Committee should take
extra caution and significant steps to prevent child labour, address
it, and ensure children’s safety after rescue, to prevent re-
victimization.
12. Child marriage is not only forced marriage but leads to forced labour,
bonded labour, sexual, physical and mental exploitation of a girl
child. Its adverse impacts must be advertised, with the help of
women SHGs, NGOs, village level governance systems, community
programs and the relevant departments of Bihar.
13. The practice of dowry must be staunchly denounced, at every
opportunity.
14. Sensitization of communities and law enforcement towards the rights
of children, especially girls, to improve the quality of intervention.
15. Increase vigilance at the porous border areas across India and Nepal
, with the help of local police, community and border security forces.
16. The government must intervene to launch an investigation into the
practice of “launda naach” or “dance girls” in Bihar. Girls and possibly
abducted or trafficked victims are forced to perform at public events,
which is often a drug-filled, lewd affair. Such an environment is
dangerous and practice such as this, is often a cover for forced
prostitution.
17. Police officers should receive regular training and must be updated
on the changes in the laws.
18. Apart from primary and secondary education, skill development and
training should be imparted to improve the chances of employment
of persons from impoverished backgrounds. For this, care must be
taken to ensure that government school teachers are qualified and
receive adequate training.
19. Moreover, school teachers should not be distracted from their duties
as educators to be designated other roles for political reasons.
Anti-trafficking conclave opens today

PATNA: US Consul General Craig Hall has urged people to unite and help
enforce anti-trafficking laws.

Addressing a press conference in Patna on Thursday, Craig said the US


Consulate General at Kolkata and NGO Shakti Vahini would host the sixth
annual anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Conclave in Patna on May 12 and
13.

The conclave will be inaugurated jointly by Craig, state labour minister Vijay
Prakash and social welfare minister Kumari Manju Verma. The theme of the
conclave is "Working together to combat human trafficking".

"This conclave will bring together key stakeholders at the local, regional,
national and international levels from India, Bangladesh, Nepal and the
United States to share the best practices and develop an agenda to combat
this form of slavery," said Craig.

According to Craig, India and the US are partners in this fight. "These
conclaves are held together by a common underlying thread, to build a
regional and cross-border network of champions against human
trafficking," he said.

Talking about the TIP caravan, Craig said, "The caravan targets two
locations every day. Interactive street shows are performed to create a
public forum for discussion on the issue. Films on human trafficking and
survivors are also screened. The caravan has travelled 17 locations of Bihar,
Jharkhand and West Bengal from March 30 to April 30."

During the conclave, a street play on 'Breaking the silence' will be organised
at Gandhi Maidan on Friday.

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/patna/anti-trafficking-conclave-
opens-today/articleshow/58632952.cms
Anti-trafficking meet

The Sixth Annual Anti-Trafficking in Persons Conclave, to be organised by


the US Consulate General Calcutta and non-government organisation
Shakti Vahini in Patna on May 12 and 13 will host stakeholders from across
India and other countries including Bangladesh, Nepal and the United
States. The conference, which would be inaugurated by US consul general
Craig Hall, Bihar labour minister Vijay Prakash and minister for women and
child development Manju Verma, would bring grassroots-level activists,
who have worked for the rescue and rehabilitation of the human trafficking
victims. They would share best practices followed all over these places to
combat human trafficking menace.

A data on human trafficking cases compiled by the criminal investigation


department would also be released during the programme.

The US consul general announced this at a news meet on Thursday. He


added that US and India were collaborating on different fronts to address
various issues and as human trafficking was a global issue, both the
countries reached a consensus to work on this grave issue as well. "Our
anti-human trafficking programme started in Calcutta with the launch of
the anti-human trafficking caravan. We are going to organise a series of
conclaves like this across the country so that a proper agenda could be
developed to fight the human trafficking problem," he said.

NGO Shakti Vahini's media consultant Ravi Kant said a major portion of the
human trafficking-related cases were related to child labour.

"The missing children's data in Bihar is unique. So far, investigations have


revealed most missing children are boys. It is suspected that the children
are inducted into child labour trade. The missing children data of Bengal is
different as girls form the 90 per cent of the missing children cases. They
are mostly trafficked from flood-affected areas of the state to Delhi and
Maharashtra for working as child labourers and also in the flesh trade," said
Ravi.

Ravi also talked about the efforts of other state governments, which could
achieve better results in the fight against human trafficking.

"The Chattisgarh government has brought private placement agencies


under the ambit of law. The private agencies has galvanised the human
trafficking process on the pretext of providing regulated labour while
incessantly depriving those who fall in their trap, of their basic human
rights. The Uttar Pradesh and Bengal governments are also working on the
same. The Bihar government can also implement this," said Ravi.

https://www.telegraphindia.com/1170512/jsp/bihar/story_151069.jsp