Human trafficking
Representative photo

US Consulate, Shakti Vahini join hands to check human trafficking in Northeast.

The US Consulate, Kolkata and NGO Shakti Vahini have launched a series of programmes to empower youth to prevent human trafficking.

As part of these programmes, a workshop titled “From One To Many -Ignite the Force” was organised in Guwahati on Friday.

US President Donald Trump has declared the month of January this year as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the passage of the U.S. Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 and adoption of the United Nations’ Palermo Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children.

In commemoration, the US Department of State has declared 2020 the year of “Freedom First,” recognizing that human dignity, autonomy, and freedom are essential to the exercise of our rights and liberties.

The goal of the project is to empower the youth to lead prevention campaigns, such as the Swayamsiddha campaign in West Bengal that has forged a multi-stakeholder collaboration to empower school girls.

The three workshops will allow stakeholders in each state to learn about the model and discuss best practices, keeping in mind local issues and the socio-cultural scenario.

Following the workshops, participants will continue to network and share developments, as well as lead two pilot projects in each state.

“The US Consulate General Kolkata is committed to intensifying our efforts to end human trafficking through a year-round, multilateral approach that supports the coordination of anti-trafficking efforts through meaningful engagement with local governments, law enforcement, judiciary, civil society, the private sector, and trafficking survivors,” said Director of American Center, Kolkata, Monica Shie.

“Human trafficking is an organized crime and over the years it has grown in dimensions. The missing children data as reported by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) is an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.

“It is important to make our children and youth aware of this problem so that they are aware of the designs of the traffickers and know of the various support mechanisms which are present,” said Rishi Kant, a volunteer of the Shakti Vahini.

“Combating human trafficking is one of our priority areas in Assam and we are taking adequate initiatives to protect women girls and children, prevent trafficking, rescue the victims, prosecute the criminals, rehabilitation and unification of the victims with their families,” said Assam director general of police (DGP) BJ Mahanta.

“Let us come together to wipe out the blot of human trafficking from the face of humanity,”

CID IGP Surendra Kumar said.

According to the Global estimates as many as 24.9 million people – adults and children – are victims of human trafficking.