Saturday, July 22, 2006

Gap in human trafficking laws: Meghalaya Governor

Gap in human trafficking laws: Meghalaya Governor
Shillong, July 09: There is a "huge gap" in enforcement of laws on human trafficking, a situation that is made more complex by underaged girls being forced to pose as adults, Meghalaya Governor M M Jacob has said.

"Laws might be in place but there is a huge gap in their enforcement and implementation. Corruption and nexus with the traffickers and lack of sensitisation are some of the reasons for apathy," Jacob said while inaugurating a South Asia Regional Consultation on rights-based anti-trafficking programme here on July 7.

Enumerating the reasons for trafficking and prostitution among women and children, he said consumerism, globalisation, discrimination against the girl child, lack of earning members in a family, lack of employment in rural areas, large-scale migration, landlessness, caste factors, insecurity and instability of the labour market, conflict situations and even natural calamities like floods could lead to it.

To check trafficking, vigil should be stepped up and the government has a definite role to play in this aspect.

Additional police personnel trained in handling trafficking should be given the job of rescuing women and children and returning them to the mainstream, he said.

The two-day meet was attended by the US Consul General in Kolkata, Henry Victor Jardin, the representative of UNODC in India, Gary Lewis, senior law enforcement and BSF officers, NGOs and others.

Supreme Court's ultimatum for seven states

Supreme Court's ultimatum for seven states
[ 19 Jul, 2006 2342hrs ISTTIMES NEWS NETWORK ]

NEW DELHI: Seven states were given a six-week ultimatum by the Supreme Court on Wednesday asking them to respond to reports of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Women (NCW), which said that incidents of trafficking of women and children are high in these states. A Bench comprising Justices K G Balakrishnan, Tarun Chatterjee and D K Jain asked the chief secretaries of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Goa to file their responses within six weeks failing which the court would "pass appropriate orders".

The court was hearing a PIL filed by NGO 'Shakti Vahini' alleging that largescale trafficking of girls and women for prostitution purposes cast a shadow on their human rights as well as fundamental rights. The states had filed responses to the petition but had ignored the directive of the apex court to respond to the reports of NHRC and NCW presenting a grim scenario. The Bench said it would be difficult for the court to appreciate the problem in the correct perspective and pass appropriate orders if the affected states did not submit their suggestions to eradicate this menace hounding the children and women in the country, especially the tribal areas. Amicus curiae and senior advocate U U Lalit said that the problem has assumed dangerous proportions.