New lease of life for former trafficking victims

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Thirteen rescued women underwent a one-month skill-training programme under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.

Thirteen rescued women underwent a one-month skill-training programme under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana.   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

Trained to perform the role of unarmed security guards

Thirteen former victims of trafficking who were rescued in New Delhi have been trained to perform the role of unarmed security guards, the National Skill Development Corporation (NSDC) announced on Monday.

Special project

The rescued women underwent a one-month skill-training programme as part of a special project under the Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana (PMKVY), the corporation added.

The 13 women were rescued from G.B. Road, the Capital’s infamous red light area, by the Delhi Police’s Special Police Unit for Women and Children (SPUWAC), an NSDC official said.

Viable professions

Juvenile Justice Committee Chairperson Justice Mukta Gupta said the objective of the special project was to provide support and skill-training to disadvantaged women and find viable professions for them.

Positive development

Human trafficking is serious issue. We believe the NSDC’s special projects will encourage other victims to come forward and find opportunities for better livelihood. Through this transformational programme, we seek to achieve substantial impact on the lives of these women,” Justice Gupta added.

After they were rescued, the 13 women were provided shelter at Nirmal Chhaya complex, a home for the destitute, where they were counselled to manage their aggression and seek the path towards positive development. The women were later shifted to a home in Dwarka for their protection and away from threats from their former agents.

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Policy dive: All you need to know about Trafficking of Persons Bill, 2017

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Policy Dive picks a policy issue, traces the debate around it, the different schools of thought and the choices involved.
More than 300,000 children went missing in the country between 2012 and 2017.

More than 300,000 children went missing in the country between 2012 and 2017.(Shutterstock/Representative image )

The government had listed the bill aimed at protecting trafficked persons, especially young girls and women, for introduction in the Lok Sabha in the just-concluded budget session. But continued disruptions, which virtually wiped out the second part of the session, prevented the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2017 from being introduced.

Here is all you need to know about the proposed law

Issue

More than 300,000 children went missing in the country between 2012 and 2017, government data shows. Around 100,000 are yet to be traced and it is feared that many of them could have been trafficked.

In 2016, for instance, 111,569 children were reported missing. Of these, 55,944 children were traced but only 8,132 trafficking cases were reported.

Many of these children are victims of modern slavery — forced into prostitution, labour or domestic work.

They are also used as drug mules and even given up for adoption illegally. Poverty and lack of opportunity also pushes a lot of young women, especially from the interior parts of West Bengal, Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand, into prostitution.

Despite the enormity of the problem, India lacks a single comprehensive law for human trafficking. At present, trafficking is covered under half-a-dozen laws resulting in confusion and poor enforcement.

Significance

For the first time, a standalone law to address the problem has been proposed that will treat a trafficked person as a victim and not an offender. It not only prescribes stringent punishment but also addresses the crucial issue of rehabilitation of victims, many of whom are lured by traffickers on the promise of a better life and jobs.

The rehabilitation is not contingent on criminal proceedings. A special rehabilitation fund has been proposed for immediate protection of rescued persons. The punishment for traffickers varies from 10 years rigorous imprisonment to life sentence and Rs 1 lakh fine in cases of aggravated crimes.

Also in a first, a national anti-trafficking bureau run by the National Investigating Agency (NIA) has been proposed to coordinate with other countries, as many times the victims, mostly women, are smuggled out of the country.

The proposed law also makes registration of placement agencies that recruit or supply domestic helps mandatory.

Debate

The bill has been debated intensely, within the government and also among activists and organisations. When the bill was being drawn up, the ministry of external affairs said the law should address trafficking of persons within India as well as overseas.

The women and child development ministry (WCD), which is piloting the bill, had countered, saying the bill already covered the movement of trafficked person from one place to another within the country and also overseas.

Activists and non-government organisations such as Lawyers Collective have criticised the proposed law, saying it has nothing new to offer and all its provisions are already covered under existing laws. The new law will only end up “complicating the legal framework and its enforcement”.

The government says because the laws dealing with trafficking were not consolidated, the issue could not be tackled effectively. Hence, the need for a comprehensive standalone law.

Activists have also said no substantial research has gone into the bill, an argument rejected by the WCD ministry.

Lawyers’ Collective has pointed out that the provision to charge a person who encourages another person to “migrate illegally into India or Indians to some other country” with aggravated form of trafficking punishable with 10-year imprisonment could have serious implications for cross-border movement of people, including refugees.

The WCD ministry has said the argument does not hold.

Manipur police arrest three Rohingyas at Indo-Myanmar border

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The two man (Rohingiya) confessed to have earlier involved in trafficking of Rohingiya girls with the help of a local man from Imphal West district to different parts of the world including India, added the SP.

The arrested individuals are believed to have entered into India from Bangladesh through Tripura. 

A joint team of Manipur police and CID, arrested three Rohingyas including a woman from Indo-Myanmar border town of Moreh, Tengnoupal district on Sunday. The Rohingyas were rounded up by the joint team on Saturday night around 8.30 pm from Muslim Basti ward no. 5 in Moreh, while taking refuge in the house of a local resident. The arrested Rohingyas hail from Baguna, the crisis ridden Rakhine state of Myanmar. The two arrested men have been identified as Md Saifullah, 34 and Md Salam, 25 while the woman is identified as Toiba Haut alias Nargis, 20, daughter of Abu Subiya.

“Following reliable information that some Rohingyas from Myanmar are staying at Muslim Basti with trafficked girls from foreign country to engage them in prostitution by inducement and force, the combined team rushed to the said area under my supervision and picked up two Rohingiya along with a woman”, said Dr S Ibomcha Singh, Superintendent of Police Tengnoupal district.

As per the finding of preliminary investigation, it has been established that Toiba Hatu was a victim of human trafficking while the two male associates were the traffickers, said the SP. The two man (Rohingiya) confessed to have earlier involved in trafficking of Rohingiya girls with the help of a local man from Imphal West district to different parts of the world including India, added the SP.

Md Saifullah, reportedly possessed an Adhaar card and a card issued by United Nation High Commissioners for Refugees but Salam and Toiba Haitu did not possessed any valid documents. Despite having valid document, Saifullah was booked under trafficking act along with Salam while the woman was booked under Foreigners act for not possessing any valid documents.

The three arrested individuals are believed to have entered into India from Bangladesh through Tripura. Since the Rohingiya refugee crisis erupted in Myanmar, the border area of Manipur have been put on alert particularly at Indo-Myanmar border Moreh and Manipur-Assam border.

The Manipur police up till now have arrested 6 Rohingiyas from Moreh border town alone. The last arrest was made on March 22, wherein three Rohingiya were arrested by a combined team. They are currently lodged in a jail in Imphal.

Society needs to unite to eradicate human trafficking

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New Delhi, Mar 8 (PTI) President Ram Nath Kovind today met survivors of human trafficking on the occasion of International Womens Day and said it was a crime against humanity and the society must unite for its eradication.

People should also be encouraged to urge the survivors of human trafficking into the mainstream of society and help them overcome their problems, Kovind said after meeting the survivors at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.

“We need to create an appropriate eco-system for the survivors,” he said.

“We are in that period of communication revolution in which social evils are discussed openly. People are discussing the social evils among themselves which is eventually leading to solutions of these problems,” the president said.

But some problems were still not being discussed much and human trafficking was one of them, he said.

“It is a curse not only for the country but for the whole humanity,” Kovind said, although human trafficking adversely affects both boys and girls but its impact is more frightening on minor girls.

It becomes really difficult for the girls to come out from the grasp of this social evil, he said.

The human traffickers especially target weaker sections who do not have resources to fight them, he said.

It may appear that only an individual or just a family was getting affected by human trafficking but in reality it affects everyone directly or indirectly, the president said.

There has been an increase of over 39 per cent in human trafficking in the last three years and more than four crore people have been affected by it around the globe, he said.

“But the irony is there is lack of awareness about human trafficking,” he said, adding there was a need to give attention to this social evil.

“In such circumstances, I am happy to learn that the Union Cabinet has approved the trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in which there is a provision for a jail term of up to 10 years for a person convicted for human trafficking,” Kovind said.

Under the bill, it was provisioned to provide relief to victims within 60 days and establishing special courts at district level to handle human trafficking cases, he said.

A special fund will also be developed under this bill for running welfare programmes for the victims, Kovind said.

He exuded confidence that passing of this Bill will strengthen people and organisations working against human trafficking.

The president hailed NGO Justice and Care, which has rehabilitated more than 4,500 human trafficking victims in the last 10 years, for its fight against this social evil.

He said four survivors of human trafficking, who have pledged to fight the social evil, may also be called as “champions of change” and all should work to increase the number of such champions.

He said many schemes of the Centre like Skill India, Start-up India, Stand-up India and Mudra would be helpful in rehabilitation and providing employment to the victims.

The survivors of human trafficking will be able to survive well only when an appropriate eco-sytem was developed for them, the president added.

यहां हर दूसरे दिन एक बच्चा हो रहा तस्करी का शिकार, दिल्ली-मुंबई में बिक रहा बचपन

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यहां हर दूसरे दिन एक बच्चा हो रहा तस्करी का शिकार, दिल्ली-मुंबई में बिक रहा बचपन

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चाईबासा, [मोहम्मद तकी]। झारखंड का पश्चिम सिंहभूम जिला मानव तस्करी का केंद्र बन चुका है। इस जिले से हर माह 10 से 20 बच्चों की तस्करी हो रही है। किसी माह यह आंकड़ा 30 के भी पार पहुंच जाता है। इसकी खास वजह यहां व्‍याप्‍त गरीबी और अशिक्षा है। पैसों के लोभ में लोग अपने बच्चों को तस्करों के हाथों बेच देते हैं। इसके बदले तस्कर उन्हें मामूली रकम ही देते हैं।

80 फीसद मामलों में बच्चों को तस्करों के हाथ में देने वाले परिवार के जानकार ही होते हैं, जो परिवार के मुखिया को लालच देकर नाबालिग को काम के लिए दिल्ली, मुंबई, चेन्नई समेत अन्य बड़े शहरों में भेजते हैं। वहां से उनका रैकेट इस कार्य को करता है। जरूरत की जगहों पर बच्चों का दाम तय कर उन्हें काम पर लगाया जाता है। एक साल के अंदर मानव तस्करी के 205 मामले बाल संरक्षण विभाग के पास आए हैं। इस प्रकार देखा जाए तो हर माह 17 से भी अधिक बच्चे मानव तस्करी के शिकार हो रहे हैं। यानी हर दो दिन में एक मासूम जिंदगी को दल-दल में धकेल दिया जाता है।

पश्चिम सिंहभूम जिले के चक्रधरपुर, गोईलकेरा, सोनुवा, मनोहरपुर, गुदड़ी व आनंदपुर प्रखंड में सबसे ज्यादा मानव तस्करी के मामले सामने आ रहे हैं। इसकी एक वजह इन्हीं प्रखंडों के आसपास से गुजरने वाली मुख्य रेल लाइन भी है। मुंबई, दिल्ली समेत देशभर के लिए इसी मार्ग से लंबी दूरी की ट्रेनें गुजरती हैं। इससे तस्कर गरीब बच्चों को आसानी से दूसरी जगहों पर लेकर चले जाते हैं।

बाल संरक्षण विभाग दिखा रहा सही राह

साल 2017 में छुड़ाकर लाए गए 200 से अधिक बच्चों में जिला बाल संरक्षण विभाग की ओर से विशेष आवासीय बालक विद्यालय मनोहरपुर में 15 बालकों का नामांकन कराया गया है। जबकि 10 बच्चों का नामांकन इसी मार्च के महीने में कराया जाना है। इसी तरह जिले के विशेष आवासीय बालिका विद्यालय में 9 बच्चियों के नामांकन के लिए सूची भेजी गई है। दो बच्चियों को कस्तूरबा आवासीय विद्यालय और दो बच्चियों का एकलव्य विद्यालय में नामांकन कराने की तैयारी चल रही है। इस माह के अंत तक इन मासूमों का नामांकन हो जाएगा।

कागज पर चल रहा काम

झारखंड में 14 जुलाई 2011 को चार थानों को एंटी ह्यूमन ट्रैफिकिंग यूनिट के रूप में अधिसूचित किया गया था। इनमें गुमला, सिमडेगा, दुमका और खूंटी जिले के नगर थाने शामिल थे। बाद में रांची, पश्चिम सिंहभूम, लोहरदगा और पलामू को भी इसमें शामिल कर लिया गया। पश्चिम सिंहभूम जिले की स्थिति यह है कि ह्यूमन ट्रैफिकिंग यूनिट बस नाम के लिए काम कर रही है। यहां पीड़ित बच्‍चों का न तो ठीक तरह से डाटा उपलब्‍ध है और न ही मानव तस्‍करों की कोई सूची या रिकॉर्ड। थाने का चक्‍कर न लगाना पड़ जाए, यह सोचकर कई बार मानव तस्‍करी के शिकार परिवार मामला तक दर्ज नहीं कराते हैं।

एंटी ह्यूमन ट्रैफिकिंग यूनिट को करना है यह काम

इस यूनिट का गठन बच्चों, युवतियों और महिलाओं की तस्‍करी रोकने के लिए किया गया था। यूनिट को जिले में मानव तस्करों का डाटाबेस तैयार करना था। इसे स्‍वतंत्र इकाई घोषित किया गया था। एक यूनिट में 12 पुलिस अधिकारी के पद सृजित किए गए थे। वाहन और कैमरे आदि देने की बात कही गई थी। लेकिन पश्चिम सिंहभूम जिले में यह पूरी तरह जमीन पर नहीं उतर पाया है।

चाईबासा के उपायुक्त अरवा राजकमल कहते हैं, मानव तस्करी की जानकारी होने के बाद तत्काल पुलिस कार्रवाई करती है। इसके लिए लोगों को जागरुक करने का कार्य भी किया जा रहा है। किसी प्रकार की कोई घटना से जुड़ी जानकारी हो तो तुरंत 100 नंबर पर कॉल कर जानकारी दे सकते हैं। इसके अलावा इसे रोकने के लिए भी विशेष तैयारी जिला प्रशासन की ओर से की जा रही है।

मानव तस्‍करी से झारखंड के ये जिले हैं प्रभावित

पश्चिम सिंहभूम, खूंटी, गुमला, रांची, गढ़वा, साहेबगंज, सिमडेगा, गोड्डा, लातेहार और लोहरदगा। इन जिलों से आए दिन तस्‍कर गरीब युवतियों और बच्‍चों को रोजगार दिलाने के नाम पर ले जाते हैं।

मानव तस्करी से जुड़ी प्रमुख बातें

– पश्चिम सिंहभूम जिले में वर्ष 2014 से 2016 के बीच मानव तस्करी के कुल 309 मामले सामने आए।

पश्चिम सिंहभूम का मानव तस्करी के मामले में राज्य में दूसरा स्थान है।

– सुप्रीम कोर्ट के आदेशानुसार भूले हुए बच्चे हों अथवा मानव तस्करी के शिकार बच्चे, सभी की प्राथमिकी मानव तस्करी एक्ट के तहत दर्ज करनी है।

– पश्चिम सिंहभूम में मानव तस्करी रोकने के लिए एक इकाई भी गठित की गई है। यहां मामले दर्ज होते हैं।

India’s first anti-human trafficking law proposes life term for repeat offenders

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The bill, reviewed by HT, also proposes a jail term of at least a year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh for those who abet trafficking or fail to protect a victim.
A trafficking victim who was rescued, in Jharkhand.

A trafficking victim who was rescued, in Jharkhand.(Vipin Kumar/HT File Photo)

Life imprisonment for repeat offenders, special courts and dedicated police units are part of key provisions in India’s first law to tackle human trafficking that is likely to be taken to Parliament for approval in the current session.

The bill, reviewed by HT, also proposes a jail term of at least a year and a fine of Rs 1 lakh for those who abet trafficking or fail to protect a victim; and seven years and Rs 2 lakh fine for the owner or manager of a property that has been used for the crime.

Around 8,100 cases of trafficking were recorded in India in 2016 and around 23,000 victims of trafficking were rescued that year, according to National Crime Records Bureau figures that experts call a “mere tip of the iceberg”. Currently, trafficking is covered by a clutch of laws that often delay trials but the government has been working on an umbrella legislation for more than two years.

“The bill — Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2017 — is ready and we will take it to Parliament in the Budget session, itself,” said an official involved in the process, asking not to be named.

“In India, life imprisonment does not mean jail for life but usually for a defined period which is generally more than 7 years. But this Bill clearly specifies that for repeat offenders and for those who have committed aggravated form of trafficking, jail term will be for the remainder of the offender’s life,” said the official.

“No person accused of committing an offence under this Act shall be released on bail or on his own bond…,” read the bill, reviewed by HT.

Since trafficking usually involves interstate gangs, the bill proposes district-level “anti-trafficking unit” with an “anti-trafficking police officer”, and a designated sessions court for speedy trials.

State governments need to create a Rehabilitation Fund that will allocate financial resources for protection homes, legal assistance to victims and skill development programmes. The fund will also be used for victim and witness protection and for generating awareness to prevent human-trafficking.

“Section 370 of the IPC is a very strong law to deal with human-trafficking, but this bill becomes important as victims require support such as rehabilitation, witness protection etc. Also a central bill would mean budgetary support to deal with the monitoring and prevention of human-trafficking,” said Ravi Kant, president, Shakti Vahini, an NGO working to prevent human-trafficking.

3 more arrested for human trafficking

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Three more accused in international human trafficking racket were arrested by unit III crime branch on Friday and Saturday. While Pyara Singh Gotara was arrested on Friday, Jarnel Singh Gotara and Rajinder Singh Atwal were picked up on Saturday.

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The number of arrested accused has now gone up to ten. Police said that 57 youngsters were trafficked from the city to North America, Europe, Haryana, Punjab and Delhi, apart from Maharashtra.

According to police, of the ten arrested, two accused would create fake bona fide and school leaving certificates. The youngsters were trafficked to shops, construction sites, hotels and malls as workers and for driving taxies. So far, 20 trafficked persons have been traced while hunt for other accused and victims is continuing.

Teenager crushed under truck

 Seventeen-year-old Prasanjeet Meshram, a labourer, who was riding pillion on a bike, died on the spot after being hit by an unidentified truck in front of Umiya gate at Kalamna on Saturday.
Prasanjeet was sitting between rider Mukesh Kosare and his cousin Ganesh Bawne when the trio was returning from Bhandara.
All the three fell off after being hit by the truck. Kosare and Bawne sustained minor injuries. However, Prasanjeet succumbed to head injuries.
Kalamna police have registered a case of negligence in driving against the unknown truck driver.