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Context - The Railway Protection Force (RPF) signed an agreement with Association for Voluntary Action (AVA) for a trafficking free nation.
- The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Association for Voluntary Action (also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan) for making a trafficking free nation.
- AVA to share information, build the capacity of RPF personnel and railway employees to work against Human Trafficking, increase sensitization and create awareness and also help each other in the identification and detection of cases of Human Trafficking.
- A joint action “Operation AAHT” (Action against Human Trafficking) was launched by RPF across the nation.
- Association of Voluntary Action also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan, associated with Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation was founded in 1979 under the leadership of Nobel laureate Mr Kailash Satyarthi with the mission to eliminate all forms of violence against children and to create a world where all children are free, safe and healthy and receive a quality education.
- Human trafficking is defined as the forceful exploitation of a person.
- It is the trade of humans for the purpose of forced labour, Prostitution, etc.
- According to the data released by National Crime Records Bureau, the highest number of persons was trafficked for forced labour, followed by prostitution.
Root causes of Human trafficking
- The Reasons behind increasing trafficking vary from country to country and often differ from one country to another.
- Social, political, economical, cultural and other factors play a key role in Promoting Trafficking. Women and children are extremely vulnerable to trafficking.
- Socio-economic conditions like poverty, caste discrimination or violence, lack of economic opportunity, Political violence, Climate change, and natural disasters influence trafficking.
- Displacement of populations increases their vulnerability to becoming a victim of trafficking.
- Increasing penetration of broadcast and telecommunication services and social media in rural areas has increased the desire of people to migrate towards the city and, with that; they are becoming easy targets for traffickers.
- In Some Poor families, Parents sell their children due to their weak financial condition, and also in the hope that their children would get a better standard of living and more opportunities in life.
- Other factors like porous borders, corruption among Government officials, and weak enforcement of Anti-trafficking laws.
Major Steps by Government
- The government enacted the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, of 1986 to deal with trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation.
- Bonded Labour Regulation Act, 1986 and Child Labour Regulation Act, 1986 deal with the exploitation of bonded labour.
- India is part of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crimes, and its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking.
- The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was introduced in Parliament. It contains provisions for the prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation of trafficked persons.
- The Union government created a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau to monitor the investigation of cases at the national level.
- Human Trafficking is an organized crime and operated across domestic and international borders, the nature of the crime needs strong cooperation and intelligence sharing between different investigating agencies.
- Steps must be taken for the socio-economic development of potential victims to reduce their vulnerability.
- Focus on improving children’s access to educational and vocational training, especially among girls and minority groups.
- Promoting job opportunities for women by supporting Self Help Groups (SHGs) and organizing training courses to empower them.
- Prohibiting the services provided through trafficked persons, like child labour, prostitution, etc.
- Need to ensure a minimum standard of living for all people, Strict Border control through proper fencing and regular patrolling, Prevent corruption in bureaucracy, etc, to curb the menace of trafficking.
- Steps should be taken to set up Protection Homes across the country, to provide shelter, food, counseling, and medical services to victims.
- Our development goals must include both economic development and social inclusion.