Contributed by Ms. Swasti Rana, Project Associate, Project : IND/S16 - Strengthening the law enforcement response in India against trafficking in persons through training and capacity building
Date : 11 June 2008
Hon'ble Minister Oscar Fernandes releasing the SOP. Also present is Mr. Gary Lewis, Representative, UNODC ROSA
On the eve of the World Day Against Child Labour, a
Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) on Investigation of Crimes of Trafficking for Forced Labour, was jointly released by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) on 11 June 2008 at the Constitution Club, New Delhi. The SOP was released by Shri. Oscar Fernandes, Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment. Mr. Gary Lewis, Regional Representative UNODC ROSA, Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Chairperson of Global March Against Child Labour, Dr. P.M. Nair IPS, who was the Project Coordinator of the Anti Human Trafficking Project, Ms. Leila Teggomo Reddy, ILO Representative and other representatives from Nepal, Pakistan and other South Asian countries, were the other major participants of the function. Addressing the audience, Hon'ble Minister Oscar Fernandes said, "Trafficking is the most heinous crime on humanity. The SOP will help spread more awareness among the officials concerned and elucidate the laws to be followed in punishing traffickers". He further stressed on the prevention aspect of anti human trafficking and spoke about the Rural Employment Scheme being implemented in the districts seeking to ensure employment for all, thus reducing risky migration.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Gary Lewis said, "There are many players in this noble cause, people who protect, people trying to re-integrate victims into society and then the unutilized players - the Law Enforcement Officers - their role is to prevent and protect. Since they are not sufficiently trained, UNODC has joined hands with BBA to prepare such an SOP".
Mr. Kailash Satyarthi from BBA said, "Trafficking is a major means by which children and adults end up in forced labour. A SOP to deal with all such cases is the need of the hour. It is a signal that trafficking will be dealt with, in the strictest terms".
The SOP on Investigation of Crimes of Trafficking for Forced Labour is a part of the series of tools brought out by UNODC ROSA, under its human trafficking project S16. This project is a joint initiative of the UNODC and the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs. The overall aim of Project S16 (set up in 2006) is to reduce the number of trafficked persons into, in and from India by further strengthening the capacity of Indian law enforcement officers. The immediate objective is to strengthen the technical capacities of law enforcement agencies and officers in India to prevent trafficking in human beings. Currently, the project is being successfully implemented in 5 states - Maharashtra, Goa, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Bihar. Most of the law enforcement programmes relate to setting up of AHTU, training police and prosecutors, developing standard operating procedures for better law enforcement and improving law enforcement networks with the anti-trafficking NGO communities.