July 18, 2014
WB Govt formulates strategies to prevent human trafficking
The State government convened a meeting onThursday to discuss the issue of trafficking.
Dr Shashi Panja, the Minister of Women andSocial Welfare said, “After multiple visits around Bengal we noticed there weregroups working against trafficking and for the rehabilitation of traffickedwomen and children”.
“I am very candid when I say that we wereuninformed about this. I realized that while the government is proactive andsensitive, there has been a lack of coordination. So we decided to convergeefforts,” she said.
The meeting – attended by representativesof NGOs, police officers and state departments – aimed at gathering inputs fromeveryone. The two angles that will be the focus of the government`s efforts, DrPanja said, are “prevention and reintegration”. She stressed the need for stepsagainst trafficking, which “happens surreptitiously and has turned out to bethe most profitable industry in the world”.
Though there are laws in place,implementation at the village and block levels has been inadequate. “That`sbecause everybody was working against trafficking but not working together,” DrPanja said. Visits to the districts have revealed the key role played by childprotection committees. The state government announced a set of guidelines forthe formation and strengthening of such committees.
'Child protection committees fall withinchild protection rights. We have formalized the guidelines today. Committeeswill now be formed at every village, block and ward level. The functionsinclude monitoring, supervision and awareness campaigns and any innovation thatone can think of,” the minister said.