Soon, sensitised officers to handle trafficking victims

MHA strengthening the law enforcement response against trafficking in persons through training and capacity building


Jasleen Kaur | May 12, 2011

In the next two years, 10,000 police officers at all levels across the country will be trained in sensitivity towards the victims of human trafficking.
The ministry of home affairs (MHA) in partnership with the Centre for Social Research (CSR), Bureau of Police Research and Development (BPRD) and Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) has organised a workshop on anti-human trafficking training of nodal officers.

This is being done under MHA’s scheme “Strengthening the law enforcement response in India against Trafficking in Persons through Training and Capacity Building”. The scheme looks at establishing integrated anti-human trafficking units and training of trainers. The purpose of training is to create sensitivity and awareness among officers at all levels who deal with such crimes.

Ranjna Kumari, director of the Centre for Social Research (CSR), an NGO active in the field of women's empowerment said, “We need to change the total perspective of police in dealing with such crimes. They have been treating victims (women) like culprits.” She added that states like West Bengal, Jharkhand, Bihar, northeastern states, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh have high human trafficking rate.

Under the scheme, MHA has proposed to establish 335 units across the 660 police districts in the country and impart training to 10,000 police officers. The ministry released funds amounting Rs 8.72 crores to all the state governments for establishing 115 units in 2010-2011. These units will have a dedicated vehicle, separate rooms for victims, and required facilities. There will be one police officer and four sub-inspectors out of which at least two should be female officers. These will be integrated with social welfare departments of the state government like Women and Child, Labour and Health for rehabilitation of victims.

To accelerate this, IGNOU in partnership with the MHA has launched a certificate programme in human trafficking last year. MHA has advised all the state governments to launch similar course at state level in partnership with IGNOU, which is a first of its kind.

Praveen Kumari, director at MHA and working head of the scheme said, “We found out that police is very sensitive towards most of the crimes but most of the officers do not even know the nature of this crime (human trafficking).”

She added that the training programme will change the whole perspective towards this crime. The impetus behind starting the scheme, she added, is the research that NHRC came up with in 2004. The research found that the figure of victims of this organised crime is in millions, mainly involving women and children.

The root cause of this crime is vulnerability and this scheme will help in finding a solution end it. The trafficking mainly happens because of economic and social reasons. And, Praveen Kumari believes that schemes/acts like RTE and MNREGA will definitely help in combating this crime.

She believes that if sensitisation will happen the officers will go out of their way to help the victim.

Soumya Bhaumik, consultant lawyer at CSR who has been involved in designing the training module for officers said, “There are new trends being adopted in this crime. And not many people are aware about them. Our purpose is to make them aware of it and to make them sensitive towards the victims of this crime.”



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