India: Experts call for stronger information sharing mechanisms to counter trafficking in persons


Lucknow (India)/2 April 2019: Representatives from the government, law enforcement agencies and civil society from five Indian states participated in the second multi-stakeholder consultation to counter trafficking in persons held in Lucknow on 2 April.

During the discussions, experts from Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Bihar, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand highlighted the need to strengthen mechanisms for information sharing and coordination between states as well as stakeholders to break the silos.

The need for better data collection mechanisms was also underscored as a key issue at the North India-focused workshop.

Representatives from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB)-one of India's four Central Armed Police Forces--also participated in the meeting, given their role in securing the border areas between Nepal and the Indian states of Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

In this context, SSB Inspector General Mr. Saurabh Tripathi shared his experiences of dealing with issues of cross border trafficking in persons. "To counter trafficking in persons, we have undertaken a range of steps, including cross-border cooperation, yearly meetings at the policy-level, promotion of ground-level collaboration amongst border agencies, joint patrolling and installation of technology in border management."

Convened in collaboration with the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, the consultation was the second in a series of five stakeholder meetings planned by UNODC to enhance understanding, cooperation and coordination on various aspects of address human trafficking, using a rights-based and victim-centered approach.

"Such stakeholder consultations have proved to be remarkable sources of knowledge sharing and strategy planning to address issues of interstate and cross border trafficking in persons," Mr. Rajesh Mani, Director of a grassroots organisation, Manav Seva Sansthan, said.

Aimed at strengthening responses to tackling trafficking in persons as evidenced by better identification of victims and initiation of investigations, this project also contributes to the implementation of the  2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.  

This activity was held in the framework of the UNODC project on "Strengthening the implementation of a comprehensive response to trafficking in persons."

The project is implemented by UNODC Regional Office for South Asia as part of the Global Programme against Trafficking in Persons, with the financial support of the Conflict, Stability and Security Fund of the Government of United Kingdom.