Govt launches Ujjawala scheme to prevent human trafficking

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New Delhi, Dec 4 (UNI) India would take up stringent steps against Non-resident Indians (NRI) coming to the country for sex selection abortions and also take up the plight of women being deserted and exploited by their NRI husbands, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said today ''Stringent action will be taken against anyone violating the laws. Action will also be taken against clinics indulging in sex-selection. The Medical Council of India could blacklist and cancel the registeration of such clinics,'' Ms Chowdhury said while reacting to a sting operation that revealed that NRIs were coming to India for sex selection.

However, this is a moral and ethical problem being faced by the country which the government is trying to tackle, she pointed out and appealed to the media not to sensationalise it. Such problems exist in other countries also, she said.

The government was holding talks with the US, UK and West Asian countries regarding the plight of women being exploited and deserted by their NRI husbands, she informed and added that a GoM headed by External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee was considering it. Various rounds of talks had been held by the officials of the US, UK and the West Asian embassies to explore the measures that could be taken under the existing provisions to safeguard the rights of these women.

Meanwhile, the Ministry launched a comprehensive scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue and rehabilitation of trafficked women and children. The scheme, 'Ujjawala', would have specific components for reintegration and repatriation of the victims, including cross border victims.

Launching the scheme, Ms Chowdhury said her Ministry had adopted a multi-pronged approach having legislation, policy and programmatic interventions to combat trafficking in a holistic manner. Rehabilitation and reintegration of the victims was the ultimate objective of the proposed scheme besides prevention of trafficking.

The scheme involved innovative inputs like mobilisation of adolescent groups through formation of Bal and Balika Sangha, community vigilance groups and sensitisation of police. Immediate relief that includes food and shelter and trauma care/counseling would also be provided to the rescued victims, she said.

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