Colloquium on Justice Delivery in Human Trafficking Crimes

15 November 2008

The UNODC Regional Office for South Asia Project "Strengthening the law enforcement response in India against trafficking in persons through training and capacity building" is a joint initiative of the UNODC and the Government of India, Ministry of Home Affairs.

Under that project, UNODC ROSA teamed with the National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) of India to organize a one day Colloquium on Justice Delivery in Human Trafficking Crimes for Judicial Officers, Prosecutors and Police Officers on 15 November 2008 in Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. The colloquium involved all three wings of the criminal justice system, from all over India. Participants also included representatives from the media, UN agencise, civil society partners and students as observers.  More than 250 senior officials attended this event.

Objectives

Objectives  of the Colloquium were:

  • Larger awareness and sensitization of the issue of anti human trafficking.
  • Strengthen the technical capacities of law enforcement agencies and judicial officers towards prosecution of crimes of trafficking.
  • Prioritization of the issue of anti human trafficking.
  • Rights-oriented, gender-sensitive implementation of laws that combat trafficking in persons with a victim-centric approach as a focus of law enforcement.
  • Sharing information and promoting best practices.
  • Evolve mutually acceptable strategies in ensuring expeditious disposal of the anti human trafficking crimes and protection of rights of victims.

Technical Sessions

The technical sessions focused substantively on the following:

  1. Human Trafficking and the Legal Regime: Commercial Sexual Exploitation, Forced Labour, Other types of trafficking
  2. Responsibility of the Police in Anti Human Trafficking Crimes: Human rights perspective, Rescue of victims,  Investigation Techniques, Organized Crime Perspective
  3. Court practice and procedures for effective Justice delivery: Victim-witness protection measures, Prevention of Re-victimization, Legal Procedures, Court Rulings
  4. Significance of NGO involvement in the Justice Delivery Process: Psychosocial and legal counselling, Rehabilitation and Reintegration of Trafficked Survivor, Role of Media
  5. A session on Way Forward was conducted to highlight outcomes on the basis of result oriented discussions.

Recommendations and Suggestions

Several recommendations and suggestions were made during the four technical sessions and also during the final sessions. Chief among these were:

  • Developing a comprehensive legislation on trafficking as presently several different legislations have to be utilized to deal with crimes of trafficking
  • Co-ordinated response to deal with human trafficking crimes - with a comprehensive response by police, prosecutors and judiciary
  • Co-ordination at the district level between the law enforcement agencies, the judiciary, the government agencies, the civil society partners and communities at large

Future Work

The involvement of the Minister of Law, National Legal Services Authority, senior Supreme Court and High Court judges and the Chief Justice of India made this colloquium of key significance to the development of law enforcement machinery in India. During their addresses, the Chief Justice of India and the NALSA reiterated the importance of holding regional and state level anti-human trafficking colloquiums to build upon the sucess of this national level event.

The Valediction function was presided over by Dr. H.R. Bhardwaj, Hon'ble Union Minister for Law and Justice, and the Presidential Address was conveyed by Hon'ble Dr. Justice Arijit Pasayat, Judge, Supreme Court of India and Executive Chairman NALSA. The Hon'ble Law Minister commended the efforts of NALSA and UNODC in conducting such a Colloquium in bringing together the three wings of the criminal justice system together for a co-ordinated response to the crimes of human trafficking.

UNODC ROSA looks forward to developing further programmes and projects on criminal justice reforms, judicial integrity, capacity building of judicial offers in the entire region on the organized crime of human trafficking.


For more information about the Colloquium, visit the website of UNODC Regional Office for South Asia.

To download more information about the Colloquium, click here.

For more information about the work of UNODC's Regional Office for South Asia generally, click here.