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'Working together to end human trafficking key pillar of India-US partnership'

The US Consulate Kolkata, in partnership with the non-profit Shakti Vahini on Thursday kicked off the first of the 5-city series in Guwahati as part of the 10th Anti-Trafficking in Persons 5-City Conclave Series.

ByIFP Bureau

Updated on 18 Dec 2021, 2:52 am

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The US Consulate Kolkata, in partnership with the non-profit Shakti Vahini on Thursday kicked off the first of the 5-city series in Guwahati as part of the 10th Anti-Trafficking in Persons 5-City Conclave Series. 

The conclave is designed for state and regional level consultations across the country to strengthen institutional responses and inter-state collaborations. The aim of the series of consultations is to bring together state level stakeholders, including government departments, legal services, law enforcement, child protection and prosecution agencies to ensure convergence in response mechanisms and strengthen interstate collaboration between source and destination agencies, the US Embassy and Consulates in India said in a statement.

“The United States and India, as global strategic partners, are committed to working together to promote shared interest in the Indo-Pacific region and beyond,” said Eugene Bae, Public Diplomacy Officer for Policy and Resources at US Embassy New Delhi. “Working together to end all forms of human trafficking is a key pillar of this partnership. The US mission in India and the Consulate in Kolkata will continue to encourage stakeholders whose work and advocacy strengthen the three pillars of the anti-TIP movement:  Prosecution, Protection, and Prevention.”
 
The US Embassy and Consulates in India, in its statement said, that as per reports, the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated existing situations of vulnerability to trafficking in persons, including the added threat of social media and other online platforms, increasing the number of individuals at risk. 

"There has been a misuse of information and communications technologies, particularly through the internet, to facilitate various aspects of trafficking in persons, including advertising, grooming, recruitment, control, financial transactions, and various forms of exploitation, including online child sexual exploitation and the production and distribution of child pornography and other child sexual abuse materials," it stated.

Technology is being used by traffickers at every step of the crime, from identifying future victims and recruiting them to laundering the proceeds of the exploitation," it added. 

Shakti Vahini president Ravi Kant pointed out that prevention initiatives should be stepped up and ensure interstate cooperation between agencies so that rescued victims are provided all support with respect to their repatriation and rehabilitation.

“We are already witnessing an increase in cases since the lockdown restrictions were eased. The fears expressed by international agencies and the United Nations are proving to be true. The need of the time is that civil society organisations should strengthen vigilance mechanisms in source and destination areas. We should step up prevention initiatives and ensure interstate cooperation between agencies so that rescued victims are provided all support with respect to their repatriation and rehabilitation," Shakti Vahini president Ravi Kant said.

Biswajit Daimary, Speaker, Assam Legislative Assembly; Deputy Speaker Nomal Momin; Amod Kanth, Convenor India Child Protection Forum, General Secretary & Founder Prayas; Sunitha Krishnan, Padmashree Awardee, Social Activist, Co-Founder, Prajwala; Bhaskar Jyoti Mahanta, Director General of Police, Assam; Surendra Kumar, IPS IGP Assam Police; Eugene Bae, Public Diplomacy Officer, US Embassy, New Delhi attended the programme as dignitaries. 

The other conclaves of the series will take place in Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Mumbai, and New Delhi in coming months, it stated.

First published:16 Dec 2021, 2:36 pm

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