Caritas India launched Cross Border Anti-Human Trafficking Programme

Caritas India with support from Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund (SCIAF) have launched a Cross Border Anti-Human Trafficking programme ‘Swaraksha’ in Gorakhpur and Lucknow on July 31, 2017.

India is among those few countries which is the source, destination and transit for women, men and children who are subjected to trafficking for different purposes. Sharing such status makes it more imperative to address this issue in a serious manner.

‘Swaraksha’ will work on the prevention, protection, prosecution and partnership for the trafficked person in 25 villages, 5 slums and Sonauli, Tutibandi and Rupaidiha border areas of Uttar Pradesh.

The launch witnessed the participation of 87 representatives from different like-minded organisation to build partnership in the fight against cross border human trafficking issues. The speakers were mainly from Police, UNICEF, Save the Children, Maiti Nepal, Child Welfare Board- Nepal, Mahila Sammam Prakosht (AHTU) Lucknow, Child Welfare Committee- Lucknow, Fr. Frederick, and Mr. Jitendra from DEHAT.

“We need to come together and form strong network by using technology to combat human trafficking issues”, said Former DG, Ms. Sutapa Sanyal to the participants during the launch. She also released a research report on Human Trafficking titled ‘A Close Look at Indo-Nepal Cross Border Child Trafficking’ which is published by Caritas India.

Ms. Leeza, Thematic Manager of Caritas India shared that the research report has recommendations on topics like Prevention is the best intervention, Reinterpreting “Run Away” children, Strengthening victim assistance services, networking with different stakeholders, training and capacity building of police, AHTU, SSB etc.

Ms. Sutapa said “It is not enough to have laws and legislations but we need to change our mind set”. Sharing about the role of police she added that the person who has been trafficked has right to receive services as they should not be revictimized.

Disclosing the findings of the research book Fr. Frederick D’Souza, Executive Director of Caritas India shared that in Nepal people selling the children just for only Rs. 5000/.

Mr. Aftab Mohammod from UNICEF suggested to develop flow chart detailing the roles/actions of police and NGOs when a person is trafficked and rescued. He insisted to work with Police, BDOs, CDOs and other stakeholders to work on the issue of human trafficking.

Mr. Keshav Koirala from Maiti Nepal expressed his willingness to support for this program and work with Caritas India and her partners at the borders to combat human trafficking.

The programme is unique in terms of its holistic approach and we can work with organisations from Nepal on prevention and protection of  victims of human trafficking and build a strong network” shared Mr. Jitendra from DEHAT.

Similar launch was done at Gorakhpur on August 4, 2017 at Nautana, Saunoli border area of Maharajganj District.  It was attended by Chief Guest   Sub Divisional Magistrate, Nautanwa Vikram Singh & special guest SK Ravi –Circle office, Nautanwa & Ajay Paul Deputy  Commandant SSB ,Naila Khan Chairman Municipal corporation & former Chairman Guddu Khan, Abhishek Pathak Senior coordinator Child India Foundation  Delhi , Vinod Chairperson CWC Maharajganj,Zaki Ahemad Child Protection officer, Shyam Singh coordinator  ChildLine Maharajganj, Father Varghese ,Director PGSS & team.