Protection of rights and provision of special services for rehabilitated survivors, integration of counter trafficking measures within the larger livelihood framework and collaboration between civil society, corporates and media for a joint action against human trafficking were some of the major issues discussed during the day long workshop held on 19 September 2008, in Pragati Manor, Guwahati, Assam (India). The workshop 'Building Public Private Partnership for Anti Human Trafficking' was held under the banner of UN Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UN.GIFT), one of the anti-human trafficking programmes of UNODC, and in collaboration with the Northeast chapter of the ATSEC (Action against Trafficking and Sexual Exploitation of Children). The three primary sessions of the workshop dwelt on the role of NGOs, media and corporates in preventing human trafficking in the Northeastern region.
An overview of human trafficking in the region and the various initiatives were presented by the NGO activists from GOLD (Global Organization for Life Development), Nedan, Impulse Network, North East Network (NEN) and Sanlaap. The groups highlighted the need for more funds for anti human trafficking programmes in the region. Ms. Hasina Kharbih, Team Leader of Impulse Network, emphasized on the need for sustainable livelihood programmes and the need-based
rehabilitation package for the
survivors of human trafficking. She also emphasized on the need for a special programme for the migrants from Bangladesh, Burma and even Nepal into the Northeast. Ms. Anurita, NEN, and Mr. Anindit Roy Chowdhury, Sanlaap, shared the proactive roles corporate and the media can play in preventive programmes, rehabilitation and re-integration.
Ms. Ela Sangma, Asst. Supervisor on the Transit and Home Repatriation Unit of Impulse Network, spoke strongly about the need for creating awareness at the district level and greater involvement of community leaders including Panchayats. She further appealed to the media to respect the rights of the survivor and to be more sensitive while reporting the incidences of human trafficking. Ms. Sangma is an empowered survivor of human trafficking. During the media session, journalists from Hindu, ANI, Ne TV, Prag channel, DY365, Dainik Asom, Meghalaya Guardian, Statesman and Dainik Batori, shared their perspectives on the trends in reporting on human trafficking. Mr. Nava Thakuria, Secretary Guwahati Press Club, urged greater co-operation among the civil society and the media for sharing of information and resources.
NEDFi (North eastern Development Finance Corporation Ltd), a North East based financial institution, shared its livelihoods schemes and encouraged the civil society to avail the micro finance services offered by the institution.
The workshop ended with a collective consensus on the need for organizing similar dialogues and facilitate sustained flow of information from NGOs to the Media on anti human trafficking efforts and stories. The workshop provided a platform to the NGO community to familiarize themselves with the media and to advocate their programmes. It was widely covered by the local media as well as by TV channels such as NE TV, Prag News, Doordarshan. The participants of the workshop included media persons, NGO workers from West Bengal, Mizoram, Manipur, Nagaland and Assam. The gathering was also addressed by Manavendra Mandal, Coordinator of ATSEC, Rajeeb Sharma of GOLD, Digambar Narzery of Nedan, Oli Bora from NEDFi and Nava Thakuria from Guwahati Press Club and resource persons from UNODC.