Millennium Post

Bengal govt was first in India to launch State Action Plan for Children, says Mamata on Child Protection Day

Kolkata: Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee tweeted on Sunday, the occasion of Child Protection Day, that her government was the first in India to have launched State Action Plan for Children and has taken several important initiatives in combating human trafficking of women and children.

"We are observing Child Protection Day today (Sunday). In December 2014, the #Bangla Govt launched State Action Plan for Children 2014-2018, the first state in India to do so. The state government has undertaken several important initiatives in combating human trafficking of women and children," Banerjee tweeted.

It may be mentioned that the state Women and Child Development & Social Welfare department is trying to have a database of the private placement agencies and for this it has sought assistance from the Labour department. A draft regarding the plan has already been submitted to the department. A number of women go missing and then are trafficked with the lure of lucrative jobs.

It was December 2014 when the department had launched State Plan of Action Against Human Trafficking in Women and Children (SPAHT) as a pilot project in Jalpaiguri and South 24-Parganas. Buoyed by the good response, the department is now escalating the project in the other districts as well.

UNICEF is the state government's key technical partner in the SPAHT process and various NGOs working with women and child trafficking have also been roped in. "There are Child Protection Committees (CPCs) in every block in the state, which will be organising meetings to finalise the action plan," an official in the department said. The committee consists of teachers, doctors, anganwadi workers etc.

The implementation of SPAHT is visualised through the convergence of various departments and agencies, where victims remain central. The department has already come out with a handbook, stating clearly the responsibilities of government departments like Youth Affairs, School Education, Home, Panchayat & Rural Development, Urban Development, Public Works Department, Health & Family Welfare and Industries, to curb child and human trafficking.

The SPAHT uses a child-rights framework to comprehensively map the responsibilities of key government departments that are tasked with affirmative action for children. These responsibilities are operationalised through the implementation of central and state government schemes, as well as specific actions taking into account the local needs and critical issues of the states.

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