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Chowdhury, Rice discuss ways to tackle human trafficking
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29 September 2007
Rampant human trafficking on the Indian subcontinent and ways of tackling the problem were high on the agenda in talks between US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice and minister of state for women and child development (WCD) Renuka Chowdhury. Chowdhury met Rice as part of the Women Leaders' Working Group on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly.
"There will be close cooperation on the problem of trafficking between United States and India," Chowdhury told TOI from New York.
According to some estimates, 15,000 women and children are smuggled out of Bangladesh every year and end up in India and Pakistan. There are also guesstimates that four lakh Bangladeshi women are forced into prostitution in India annually while 3 lakh boys also land in India to be put to work in factories and used as camel jockeys.
The UN estimates 4 million people are trafficked globally of which 2 lakh people are from South Asia. Affirming the Indian government's commitment for the empowerment of women, Chowdhury told Rice that Indian women could boast of achievements which were still dreams for women in some of the developed countries.
The working group included women leaders from 40 nations like Iceland, Philippines and Nepal. Chowdhury also spoke about the all-women peacekeeping force that India has raised with the assistance of the CRPF in Liberia.
"Most countries were not even aware of India's role and were very appreciative of the positive changes that Indian women were bringing," the minister said.