On a mission to curb human trafficking
The British Deputy High Commissioner to Kolkata, Bruce Bucknell joined a rally to mark the World Day against Trafficking in Persons on July 30. "We need everyone to come together to tackle the dangers from trafficking and protect the human rights of those affected," he said.
Bucknell participated in the rally organised by the NGO, Association for Social and Humanitarian Action (ASHA) at Minakhan, North 24 Parganas, West Bengal. Prasun Bhowmick, member, State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, West Bengal and Kamrul Islam, Block Development Officer also joined the rally.
The British Deputy High Commission is supporting projects in East and North East of India to tackle the issue of human trafficking. This includes project 'Jagaran', implemented by ASHA.
"I am glad that we are working with local partners to tackle this problem," Bucknell added. "Such projects can empower people to raise concerns, and work with authorities to address the dangers of human trafficking."
Sanjeev Kumar Singh, Secretary, ASHA said, "We have been trying to address trafficking in the vulnerable pockets along the Indo-Bangladesh border and the riverine belt in West Bengal. We are also working in the tribal community of Chhattisgarh and tea gardens of Assam. Poverty, ignorance, gender and caste based discrimination in the community and lack of political will are responsible for trafficking to flourish. We have initiated the process for sensitising the community on the various modus operandi of trafficking, empowering the adolescents, rejuvenating the block and village level Child Protection Committees and bridging the gaps between the community and the government machinery."
A signature campaign and a street play on the causes and concerns related to human trafficking were also part of the event. Local panchayat representatives, community leaders, block and district level officials and police officers were also present at the rally.
India-UK stand united in a force for good partnership and everyone needs to come together to tackle the dangers that trafficking poses and protect the human rights of all concerned. Improving the lives of girls and women is one of UK's top priorities for development around the world – including India. UK activities include a number of projects focusing on empowering women; capacity building for marginalised women, women's legal rights; combating sex trafficking, child labour and bonded labour. The plan builds on demonstrated expertise in working with the poor communities, law enforcement agencies, improving policies and implementation and encouraging ethical businesses.