GUWAHATI, June 28 - National NGO Shakti Vahini today made a strong pitch for a vibrant anti-trafficking task force in Assam involving consulate members of various neighbouring countries including Bangladesh and Bhutan.
This will be in the line of a task force that is functioning successfully in West Bengal with the secretary of the Social Welfare Department (Women and Child Development) as its head.
During a day-long consultation organised Shakti Vahini on anti-human trafficking here today, Rishi Kant of the NGO said the task force should ideally be there in every State of India as per a Supreme Court order, but even if it is in a dormant stage or is not there at all in Assam, it is high time to constitute one so that the stakeholders can act swiftly and effectively on human trafficking issues.
�By inclusion of consulate members from the neighbouring countries, we can keep a close eye on cross-border activities of human trafficking,� he said.
The suggestion was supported by members of civil society and NGOs that participated in the consultation, which also discussed issues related to the draft Anti-Trafficking Act. He urged the stakeholders, including the members of civil society, to submit suggestions (WCD website) to facilitate framing of a strong Act.
�There is no harm in adopting the best practices. The one in West Bengal is doing a commendable job and the State has already signed memorandum of understanding with destination States like Maharashtra to yield better results. I�m sure Assam, too, can follow suit and it is the responsibility of civil society and NGOs to take up the matter with the State Government,� Rishi Kant said.
While deliberating on various aspects of human trafficking, he said the skewed sex ratio of Haryana has made it a premier destination point for girls trafficked from Assam and there is a need for greater intervention from multiple agencies, including government (police), activists and civil society to address the issue.
�If you visit any village in Haryana, you will come across at least five girls from Assam. These girls are subjected to the worst form of slavery and are even sexually assaulted,� said Rishi Kant.
Speaking on the occasion, Additional Director of Police (CID) R Chandranathan said, �The problem of human trafficking is extremely complex and it is largely poverty-driven. We will have to hit at the preventive aspect more than anything else.�
�Further, a multi-pronged approach is what is needed,� Chandranathan said.
Earlier, chairperson of the Assam State Human Rights Commission, Justice Aftab Hussain Saikia, dwelt at length on the challenges posed by incidents of human trafficking from the legal perspective and also the rampant violation of human rights, which is fundamental in nature.