Renuka Chowdhury calls for a holistic approach to address the issue of trafficking

for Ministry of Women and Child Development | Date - 16-02-2006

Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Renuka Chowdhury has said that time has come that different articles of SAARC Convention are put to operation to address the multi-pronged issue of trafficking. Delivering her inaugural address at the one-day National Consultation for Implementation of SAARC Convention on Trafficking here today she emphasized upon a holistic approach in setting direction for future since it involves various issues. Smt. Chowdhury said that she would be soon meeting a group of sex workers to hear their views on the issue. She also pointed out that the issue of diminishing sex ratio could become a major contributory to the menace of trafficking and called upon all the stakeholders to come together to address the same.

The Minister informed the gathering that her Ministry proposes to amend the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986 to make the law stringent for the traffickers, brothel keepers, pimps and customers and humane to the victims. The proposal envisages definition of child as any person below the age of 18. It seeks to delete the existing Section 8 which declares soliciting as punishable and section 20 which empowers a magistrate to remove the commercial sex worker from boundaries of an area. It, inter alia, envisages constitution of a Central Nodal Authority on the lines of Narcotics Control Bureau, which will be responsible for coordination of all activities on prevention and combating trafficking of women and children at the national level.

The Ministry of WCD runs three schemes for combating trafficking in source, transit and destination areas. The projects concentrate on preventive aspects through awareness generation, women’s empowerment, social alertness, poverty alleviation scheme, micro credit scheme through women groups and self help groups, information on HIV/AIDS and involvement of grass root representative institutions and through the scheme of the destination areas, rescues are done and survivors rehabilitated. Another scheme known as ‘Swadhar’ caters to the needs of women in difficult circumstances through shelter based rehabilitation. Projects have also been sanctioned under this scheme for rescued victims of trafficking. The holistic interventions available under the scheme are shelter, food, cloth, counselling, vocational training, medical facilities, legal assistance etc.

(Release ID :15528)

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