REPORT OF THE STATE-LEVEL SEMINAR  AT REDCROSS BHAWAN, CUTTACK ON HUMAN TRAFFICKING.

A State level seminar on the issues and challenges in human trafficking in Odisha was organised at the Redcross Bhawan, Cuttack on 2 March 2016 by ATSEC-Odisha network partners in joint collaboration with CSA, Cuttack. Centre for World Solidarity, a Hayderabad based organizati on supported the event. More than one hundred members of civil society organizations(CSO),child care institutions, lawyers, media persons, CWC members and individuals participated and enriched the seminar with their valuable contributions.

 ATSEC-Odisha through its network partners is implementing anti-trafficking projects in five dis tricts: Nari Surakhya Samiti in  Angul, fellowship in Bhadrak, Project Swarajya in Kendrapara, Seva in Ganjam and DARIA in Khurdha since 2013.To share the success of our work, challenges we face, good practices to showcase and visions for the future are also some of the objectives for which the seminar was organized.

The seminar was inaugurated by Shri A.S.Naidu, Hon’ble Justice(rtd), Odisha High Court by watering a plant; a novel way to spread the message: Protect environment and  protect women and children from trafficking and sexual exploitation. In his speech he invoked that every year 44000 children are missing in India out of them 11000 remain untraceable, 80% are from poor families with 50% girls. Like Chit Fund companies, Dalals(middlemen) find easy prey in women and minor girls for trafficking them outside state for exploitation in the name of employment/marriage. Most of them are also sold out who land up in brothels in the long run. So, it is our duties to protect women and children as much as we save the environment. He praised the effort of ATSEC and its partner organisations for doing such a commendable work in the vulnerable districts of Odisha to combat trafficking. In his speech, he appealed to the government to extend help to civil society organisations who are doing such commendable work in the State.

S.M.Farooque, State Convenor, ATSEC-Odisha in his welcome address highlighted the problem of trafficking in the State. He, in his brief address described the situation in the State in 1999, before the super cyclone, how it accelerated  afterward,  the role of civil society organisations in blasting the issue hitherto considered ‘nonexistent’ in the State and the challenges faced by them from the insensitive State actors like police and burocracy and a powerful nexus of   middle men/ dalal and village level political leaders who were involved in running the lucrative business of trafficking minor  girls outside the state in the guise of marriage or employment. As there was no evidence to prove the points, these csos, namely Task Force on Women and Violence,  ISED and NAWO  undertook studies separately to assess the situation of trafficking in the State, for example, forms of trafficking, its causes, source and destination areas,transport routes, role of parents, relatives, dalal, age and education of the victims etc. The studies also highlighted the unspeakable agonies a girl had to face including sexual exploitation by other family members at the so called matrimonial homes. Survivors who returned back to their natives were no lucky either; most parents are unsympathetic and hostile to them, revealed the studies. As a result, for survival they were forced to adopt unfair means. Before the findings of the studies could be shared with stakeholders the super cyclone struck and created havoc in the State. This provided golden opportunities for dalals to multiply their business un-checked in the affected districts, especially, Kendrapara, Balasore, Bhadrak , Puri and Jagatsingh pur. When media highlighted the issue, the government woke up and the civil society organizations rightlychipped in to sensitise them adequately and successfully  with   their readymade survey reports.

Since then on, CSOs and government are working in tandem on this critical issue resulting in some remarkable achievements in Odisha. ATSEC Odisha  played a pivotal role in the negotiation process with government by forming a state level Advocacy Group involving various actors.  

State Women Policy announced recently acknowledges the menace of trafficking as a critical issue and set guidelines for government to address the problem, Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking Units, IAHTU have been set up in all districts, DCPU and CWC in all districts are set up and government is carefully monitoring the functioning of the same and Anti-trafficking cells in all districts are set up. Although a lot of tasks remain unfinished, Mr.Farooque said contributions of csos in bringing the issues to the ambit of public debate is praiseworthy. He further stressed that human trafficking is a social problem. It gets augmented in the company of  ignorance,illiteracy,  insensitivity, lack of awareness and unemployment. In order to wipe out the menace o trafficking from the society, he appealed to all stakeholders, Government, police, cso, PRI and community level SHGs to work in a partnership mode. ATSEC network since its inception in 20001 in Odisha endeavors in this direction,he said. 

 

Shasi kanta Mishra,  Secretary, Odisha State Legal services Authority, who partcipated as the Chief Speaker expressed his happiness to be a  part of the event. He informed that legal aid cells are functioning at districts through para legal volunteers. They are recording the cases of trafficking, domestic violence, registration of migration and marriages in some districts.  Trafficked returnees in most cases are not accepted by their families. These cells play vital roles in providing legal aid to the needy returnees, he said. when he was informed that in some districts, ATSEC partner organisations are working in close collaboration with legal aid cells and their volunteers are working as trained  legal aid volunteers, he was extremely pleased and assured us to strengthen the relations.

Smt.Snehanjali Mohanty,Member ,State comm

Snehanjali Mohanty, Member, State Commission for Women participated as the Guest of Honour . She in her speech stressed upon rehabilitation of the trafficked victims who return back; otherwise, there is possibility of them being re-trafficked or entering in to prostitution. NGOs need to be focused and work with commitment, within  limited areas. They must  be equipped with knowledge, experience and skill along with  required infrastructures like shelter home and  trained counselors  etc.

 

 

 

Alaka, Secretary Seva the implementing partner in Ganjam district informed that her organization is implementing  anti-trafficking project in 32 villages  of 3 g.p. with 6500 families since 2013. Community awareness through IEC, public meetings, debate, discussions, interface meetings with government and NGOs, public rallies etc are some of the activities of the organizations. They adopted a holistic approach to address the issue of trafficking i.e. prevention, protection and prosecution. The organization works closely with the police and district administration. In recognition to her work, she was inducted in to District Sexual Harassment Redressal Committee, Anti-Trafficking Cell  and DLSA.

Ashok Behera of DARIA, partner organization in Khordha said that his organization is implementing  the anti-trafficking project  in twenty villages of 2 g.ps in Khurdha district since 2013. ATSEC-Odisha with support from CWS, Hyderabad is supporting the project. He expressed his displeasure over the scanty financial budget provision of government for CSOs. He stressed upon increased cooperation of  government departments in his district which is lacking. As his operational district forms both source and destination circuit(Bhubneswar), need special attention in terms of resources. The organization has successfully registered three marriages and eighty migration cases.

Pushpajee, the Program Co-ordinator of Project Swarajya, the implementing partner for Kendra para and Cuttack districts presented a brief report of their work and resultant achievements. She said that in Cuttack,  her organization is working on 2 slums and  in Kendrapara in 10 g.ps of 2 g.ps since 2013. Awareness education for the community, capacity building training of adolescents and their parents, working closely with media and police are some of their focus areas. They run a Short Stay Home in Kendrapara where victims of traficcking and domestic violence are sheltered, counseling provided and rehabilitation measures are taken. Since 2013, the organisation has rescued 175 girls and repatriated/rehabilitated majority of them after counseling. During this period 1500 adolescents in slums of Cuttack, villages in Kendrapara and college girls have been sensitised on gender issues including trafficking.

Smita Pattanaik, Secretary, Nari Surakshya Samiti(NSS), Angul  gave a brief account of her organisations’s activities on rescue and rehabilitation of adolescent girls since 2013. She said that her organization is working in 15 villages of two g.ps in two blocks. Angul district is highly a vulnerable district due to industrialization. Adolescent girls of poor families are trafficked to Delhi and U.P. on the false promise of employment that later get trapped in sex trade. NSS has been doing commendable work in rescue and rehabilitation of the returnees as well as girls from vulnerable families. The organization runs a girls school where vocational training is imparted. With the help of ATSEC-CWS support, it has helped twenty girls through  gainful employment  since 2013. In acknowledgement to their contribution, Smita Pattnaik was included in to the Anti-trafficking Cell and the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee.

S.M.Farooque, Secretary, fellowship, Bhadrak presented a brief report of the organizations activities on trafficking in women and girls. He said that his organization is working in 28 villages of five g.ps in Bhadrak Block since 2013 with support from CWS, Hyderabad. Started with three now in five g.ps the organisation is focusing on. Closely working with the cluster level federations promoted under Odisha Livelihood Mission. The villages were highly vulnerable not before long, but after the interventions since 2013, not a single girl from three g.ps, Chandigaon, Rahanj and Erein has been trafficked. Five returnees have been gainfully employed. Although inter-state trafficking has stopped, but intra-state trafficking among adolescents, mostly college girls showing an increasing trend, he said. This is because of the effect of consumerism and technological development. The issue needs urgent attention, he cautioned. He also briefly gave an account of the achieve ments in five operational districts in 2015-16. 450 domestic violence cases that includes 08 land related and 30 trafficking were registered; out of which 300 cases could be redressed. 3000 families have accessed government schemes under Odisha Food Security and Livelihood Mission.  

Shri  Bikash Mohapatra, Chairman, CWC,Cuttack in his presidential  speech emphasized on multifaceted approach to address the problem of trafficking. He urged upon the participants to collaborate with government agencies and other CSOs to launch a united action against trafficking in persons. He also emphasized on prevention since rehabilitation of returnees is a herculean task. Accessing anti-poverty schemes and linking vulnerable families with the schemes is very important, he said. He profusely thanked ATSEC partner organizations for doing such a wonderful work in the state.

Lalatendu Mohanty, Director, fellowship  spoke on the legal aspects of trafficking. He emphasized upon the  Criminal  Amendment Act  2013 sec 370 IPC which  says  ‘buying and disposing a person  as slave’ and replaced it with the offence of trafficking of a person. The wordings are similar to those of U.N. Protocol  which  says  ‘ whoever for the exploitation recruits, transports, harbors, transfers or receives a person by using threat or using force or any other form of coercion or by abduction or deception or by practicing fraud by inducement including giving or receiving payment for the benefits even with their consents comes under the offence of trafficking.

 Other speakers who contributed with their valuable deliberations include, Dolly Dash, Director, Project Swarajya,  Chittaranjan Mohanty, Practicing Human Rights lawyer,  Shri Pradeep Pattanaik, Advocate and Member, CWC, Cuttack among others. Anupam Suvadarshan, Program Officer, CSA and Shri Sumanta Nath, Consultant Child Rights discussed the JJ(C&P)  Amended Act 2015 at length. Partcipants found it so useful.

 

 

 

At the end Sarmistha Rout  of  Project Swarajya offered the vote of thanks.

 

 

List of Implementing prtners :                                                                ATSEC Odisha member

 

1.Project Swarajya                                                                                     1.Task Force On Violence Against  Women (TFVAW)

Gasnesh Ghat,Cuttack                                                                   Contact- Tanmayi Sahoo

Contacy- Dolly Dash – 9437021247                                                                            Co-ordinator                                     

Mail id- projectswarajya88@gmail.com                                                  Mob  --  9338158078                      

2.Nari surkhya Samiti                                                                               2.   Kalyan

Anugul ,Odissa                                                                                                  At/Po- Luhasingh, Bolangiri        

Contact Smita Pattnaik-9437079223                                                         Conatact-Meenakshi Purohit

Mail id - nasusa@rediffmail.com                                                               Mob- 94372540649

 

3 Seva  Ganjam                                                                                        3.   SHED       

Contact Alka Sahoo -9437344839                                                            At/Po – Bhatli, Baragarh                                  

Mail id-sevaalakasahu@rediffmail.com                                              Mob no-9337785623          

4.Daria, Bhubaneswar                                                                         4.   Kishore    

Contact- Ashiok Behera- 9437573379                                                 Near kali mandir                   

Mail id- abehera_daria@yahoo.co.in                                                 Po-Chandbali                                                                         

                                                                                                                           Dist - Bhadrak        

 5.Fellowship                                                                                                 Contact- Sudhir Mohanty

Tarini bhawan,Womens college, Santhia                                                          Mob- 9437297948 ,

Bhadrak- 7561010

Contact- S.M.Farooque- 9437266492

Mail id - fello_ship@yahoo.com                                                      5.  Pragati     

                                                                                                          At /Po -      Sundargarh,Sundargarh                                                                                                                                                       Contact- Rajendra

                                                                                                 Mob -9437684503

 

                                                                                                   6. ISED              

                                                                                                           28,Dharma Vihar ,Bhubaneswar                                    

                                                                                                          Tel no- 0674 2350312           

 

 

                                                         Indivisual

                                                       1 .Tapasi Praharaj ,

                                                      secretary

                                                     AIDWA Odisha Bhubneswar

 

                                                      2.  Rutu parna mohanty 

                                                           Advocate

                                                          Bhubaneswar

                                                Contact-  9658732293