Thiruvananthapuram: The National Commission for Women (NCW) on Wednesday voiced concern over the increasing trafficking of girls and women in the country and said that awareness needs to be spread among them so that they do not fall into such traps.
Recognising the victims of trafficking is a tough task and the Commission is trying to train police personnel, customs officers, and CISF forces to recognise the crime, Meenakshi Negi, Member Secretary, NCW, said here.
She was addressing a regional consultation meeting of southern states and union territories organised by the NCW here.
Pointing out the difficulties faced by the agencies in preventing the crime, Negi said trafficking is happening by road, train, ship, and even by air and it is very difficult to identify the victims, but NGOs could play a significant role in identifying them and preventing the crime to some extent.
“It (human trafficking) is not regional…it is not a state subject…it is actually a global issue…,” Negi said.
The NCW member secretary shared the Commission’s experience in dealing with the crime, referring to information it received during a recent anti-trafficking seminar held in Srinagar.
She said they was realised during the programme that women from the southern- and eastern-most parts of the country were the ones who were trafficked the most to northern Kashmir — information that would be useful to stakeholders in preventing trafficking.
“So, you can imagine the network that is operational here,” she further said.
There is a big need for awareness to educate women and girls to recognise the “red flags” that come their way.
“People approach them promising jobs, marriages, and a good life in films and television. That’s how they fall victim to this kind of trafficking,” Negi said.
While interacting with reporters later on the sidelines of the event, she said the NCW doesn’t have state-wise or zonal-specific data about trafficked women in the country.
“Nobody knows how many are getting trafficked, and they come by train, road, ship, and so on,” she said, adding that it was an eye-opener to her as well.
The Commission is trying to train police personnel, customs officers, and CISF forces to recognise trafficking, she added.
The one-day consultation meet hosted by the Kerala Women’s Commission focused on consultation with NGOs with regard to various central programmes, including the Swadhar Greh (scheme providing temporary residential accommodation with food and provisions for women in difficult circumstances), centres under the Ujjawala Scheme (prevention of trafficking, rescue, rehabilitation and re-integration scheme), and One Stop Centres (support for women affected by violence, in private and public spaces, within the family, community and at the workplace).
The meet was attended by representatives from women’s commissions, women and child departments, social justice departments, NGOs and academicians, among others, from the five southern states of Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well as the two UTs of Lakshadweep and Puducherry.
The NCW specifically consulted with NGOs to assess and explore statistics, identify barriers, and propose strategies to improve the existing state of these facilities, official sources said.
The aim was to explore ways to enhance their impact, remove any hindrances, and improve conditions to better serve and support women in need, they said.
The event also aimed at bringing different stakeholders together on the same platform to suggest concrete steps to improve conditions in all institutions where women are housed.