Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi in his address on the second day of Anti Trafficking-in-Persons Conclave 3: Moving Forward organized by the American Center, Kolkata and Impulse NGO Network at NEDFi House, Guwahati said, “Anti trafficking offers serious challenges whether it is in South Asia, East Asia or anywhere else. Even in Assam with borders along Bangladesh, Myanmar and Nepal the issue of trafficking is on the rise without doubt. The Government of India has shown it concerns on the matter and it is our obligation and duty to ensure that everybody lives with full dignity, every child, every woman, every individual. They must enjoy human rights and live with honor which is the basic objective of our constitution.”
Reasons for trafficking are many from poverty, lack of unemployment opportunities, migration, drug trafficking, business and labor. Sometimes they are forced to be trafficked. Other times insurgents force children to join them and in some cases some are kidnapped also. Trafficking in women and children are going on in Assam, he informed.
Saying that trafficking is the violation of gross human rights he expressed his eagerness to work with all concerned to address the issue.
The Day 2 of the Anti Trafficking-in-Persons Conclave 3: Moving Forward was kicked off with a Welcome Address by Rachel Sunden, Deputy Director, American Center, Kolkata and an Introductory Note by Hasina Kharbhih, Chair of Board, Impulse NGO Network & MD, Impulse Social Enterprises.
Special Guest of the session, Helen Lafave, Consul General, US Consulate addressing the gathering said, “The issues of trafficking speak of the complexity, the need to collaborate, the need to work together across the regions, provinces, national boundaries. It brings us here together today.”
The other distinguished speakers presenting their observations, expertise and suggestions were, Cristina Albertin, Representative, UNPDC, Regional Office for South Asia, Dr. P M Nair, IPS, Former DG, NDRF, Dr. Praveen Kumar Singh, Director, Ministry of Home Affairs (HMA) and Jitesh Khosla, Chief Secretary, Government of Assam.
The second session dealt with the Status of Adopting and Implementing the UN Trafficking Protocol with an Introduction to the Protocol and regional overview in adopting the Protocol wherein the panelists were Dr. Praveen Kumar Singh, Director HMA, Cristina Albertin, Representative UNODC, Regional Office for South Asia, shared their activities, experiences and methodology of the implementation of the Protocols. Bijo Francis, Executive Director, Asian Human Rights Commission & Asian Legal Resource Centre, Hong Kong moderated the panel.
The third panel discussion Need for SOPs regarding Repatriation of Cross-Border Human Trafficking Victims had speakers, Dr. P M Nair, IPS, Former DG, NDRF, Indrani Sinha, Director, SANLAAP, Salma Ali, Director, BNWLA and Florrie Burke, Chair, Emeritus of the Freedom Network. The panelist included S. Suresh Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, Roksana Hasin, Deputy Secretary, Ministry of Home Affairs, Bangladesh, Sonam Penjor, Chief Program Officer, Women Division, National Commission for Women and Children, Bhutan, Sunita Nepal, Under Secretary, Ministry of Women, Children and Social Welfare, NCCHT, Nepal, Chandra Kumar Ghimre, Consul General, Nepal. The panel was moderated by Krishan Varma, Special Secretary (Retd), Government of India.
The panel examined the status of the finalized SOP between India and Bangladesh, the necessity of multilateral or bilateral SOPs in the region, issues of connectivity- repatriation between India and Myanmar overland, status of the existing SOPs between countries- avoiding the overlapping that ensure consistency and the legalities necessary to initiate the SOP development process.