A report on the mid-career interaction on human trafficking

A two days DoPT. Government  of India sponsored Mid-Career Interaction between the Civil Services Officers and the Armed Forces was organised by Administrative Training Institute, Government of Nagaland, Kohima on the 29th-30th September 2011 on the topic-Human Trafficking.  The experts in this program included Ms.Roopa, IAS, Superintendent of Police, Tuensang and Ms.K.Ela, Director, Prodigals Home, Dimapur, while the participants were from Civil Services, Army, Navy, Air Force and local stake holding departments.
 On completion of the two day program all the participants committed to work against Human Trafficking. The participants also decided to put forward the following recommendations to the concerned authority to help bring about a solution to this ever growing menace;

1 Human traffickers and perpetrators even if caught as of today get easily bailed out. And though already about 22 laws against Human Trafficking exists, they seem to be not stringent enough. Hence stricter laws should be enacted and make this offence a Non-bail able offence.
2 Ignorance about Human Trafficking as a crime is a major issue. Hence educating the people is of paramount importance. To this end, a three fold strategy may be adopted-   a) Adult Education, where the older generation can be sensitized and trained about its ills and effects, b) Educating the students in schools by introducing a chapter on the issue and creating clubs in institutes and c) Educating /sensitising the law enforcing agencies about the prevailing laws.
3 It is generally agreed that poverty and unemployment are the major causes for human trafficking. Hence avenues may be created for youth employment and poverty elevation programs carried out for the poorer/ weaker section of the society.
4 Since Human Trafficking is having many stake holding departments, Governmental agencies should work together as one entity and not as separate agencies to bring about better coordination and better result. (Eg- Administration, Police, Social Welfare, Women Welfare Departments, Labour Department, NGOs etc. should work together as an entity)
5 Justice to the victims has been very poor as the perpetrators normally have high connections and the affected have none. Hence they never get justice in the present condition. Therefore a new justice delivery system may be enacted in line with ‘Fast Track Courts’ , ‘Lok Adalat’ , ‘Lok Ayukta’ etc.
6 After the victims are saved/ rescued, there are no places where the victims can be kept or rehabilitated. Hence concerned departments should take up this issue for temporary homes until they get their real homes or even facilities/avenues to rehabilitate them permanently.
7 All the states may be having  State Level Committee on human trafficking. However it has not percolated down to the District , Sub-Divisional, Block, Circles and village levels. Hence it is felt that functional committees should be there till the grass root level.
8 It is seen that the Northeastern states serve as a place of origin, transit as well as a destination place for trafficking. This is because the borders between Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar and Bhutan are too porous. Hence the border security between the states and neighbouring countries should be strictly monitored and controlled.
9 The Anti-human trafficking units ( AHTUs)should be set up in all the districts. Committee members could be GBs, School heads, women org, student orgs,NGOs,DCPO, social welfare administration, CBOs etc. This committee can keep close vigilance in their own districts/localities. Specific vulnerable pockets/localities can be closely monitored.
10 A periodic coordination meeting may be held between all the stake holding departments.
11 Registration/verification of domestic child labors in all localities by the local authority should be carried out.
12 Task force of Police, Administration and Judiciary for effective implementation of existing laws and acts on human trafficking can be set up.
13 The authority should see to adequately equip the state machinery to effectively fight against human trafficking
14 In a state like Nagaland, the issue can be taken up in the District Planning Board meetings and DC. SP. Conferences. Since Ms.K.Ela, Director, Prodigals Home has been in the field for a long time, and since she has a very good practical experience in the issue, she may be invited to give presentations. Likewise in other states too this can be replicated.
15 Many people don’t know whom to or where to contact in the event of such occurrence. Hence it is felt that a common national Help line  is evolved for, all down to the grass root level for easy access in line with the Child Helpline already in existence with Dimapur.
16 The need to emphasise value based moral and spiritual education and not merely literacy has been emphasised.
Besides the above mentioned points, the participants also discussed the broader issue of Civil-Armed Forces coordination in the field of Law and Order maintenance and Disaster Management and were unanimous on the issue of better coordination and hence decided to put up to the authority for more co-ordination meetings between them down to the sub-divisional level. The existing District level Committees may also meet on a more regular basis.
The program concluded with a local tour followed by a Cultural Night at Imagine Nagaland Hall, Administrative Training Institute, Kimho, Kohima.

(Dr.Hovithal N.Sothu)
State Coordinator DMC & Nodal Officer DoPT Program Coordinator