Action plan to rehabilitate trafficked victims on the anvil: Renuka

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New Delhi, Mar 4 (UNI) An integrated action plan for rehabilitation and reintegration of trafficked victims into the mainstream is on the anvil, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury said today.

Stating that the Government had taken several initiatives to check trafficking of women in collaboration with various partners, she said, ''trafficking of women was the biggest of obscenity and we need to raise our voices against it.'' Mrs Chowdhury, who was presiding over a workshop organised by her ministry and United Nations Office on Drug and Crime on the issue of trafficking here, also elaborated on the proactive role her Ministry was undertaking with the support from civil society in preventing trafficking.

She emphasised on the need for increased awareness, greater resources and improved coordination in the fight against trafficking.

Highlighting the role of civil society, Mrs Chowdhury said a multi-sectoral role was necessary not only to check trafficking but also rehabilitate the victims.

The Government has launched 'Ujjawala' -- a scheme for rehabilitation of the victims -- and has proposed amendments in immoral Traffic Act to check the revictimisation of victims.

She said the corporate sector, NGOs, media and civil society could play a significant role in reintegration of the victims into the mainstream.

On the occasion, Minister for Overseas Affairs Vayalar Ravi said the Government was making provisions to fix the minimum wages for domestic helps going abroad, by making amendments in Immigration Act. Besides registration with the embassy concerned efforts would be made to provide mobile connectivity to these workers so that their whereabouts and well being was known to the embassy concerned.

The workshop was the part of series of events being organised by the ministry to celebrate International Women's Day from March 4 to 8. The theme of the celebrations is 'Survival to success -- celebrating her life'. The workshop was attended by senior government officials, police, NGO representatives, rehabilitated survivors and international organisations.

The workshop focused on the positive elements of what is being done in India to rescue women from their trafficked status and the need to provide better services to rehabilitate them. The protection of rights of rehabilitated survivors and provisions of special services was strongly recommended by participants. Many a times the survivors are discriminated against and isolated due to societal stigma. There was also demand for implementation of laws and programmes that respect women's rights and increased involvement of local governance bodies on issues related to gender and vulnerabilities.

It was also unanimously agreed that there was a need for integration of counter trafficking measures within the larger developmental framework and collaboration of civil society and Government to ensure effective implementation of laws and policies.

In particular, the responsibility for protection and rehabilitation was not seen as exclusively the Government's.

Participants stressed the need for the corporate sector to provide better economic opportunities in districts known to be vulnerable to trafficking.

UNI SD SR BD1930

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