Friday, September 15, 2006

Bombay HC Lambasts Police Inaction in Curbing Human Trafficking

State Women's Commission Wants Police Co Ordination with NGOs

13 September 2006NGOs need to be roped in by the police to crack down on brothels as per the directives of the High Court, Maharashtra Commission for Women's Chairperson Rajani Satav has suggested.In a statement here yesterday, Ms Satav said police alone could not search crowded areas and brothels to look for minor girls who are victims of human trafficking, and induced into prostitution.The HC had directed to seek CBI help in raiding brothels.A division bench comprising Justices J N Patel and R S Dalvi yesterday observed that to prevent minor girls from being forced into prostitution, the action had to initiate at the police station level.

Bombay HC Lambasts Police Inaction in Curbing Human Trafficking

12 September, 2006The Bombay High Court has hauled up the police for "inaction in curbing human trafficking and prostitution".A division bench comprising justices J N Patel and R S Dalvi observed that action had to be initiated at the police station level itself to ensure that girls are not forced into prostitution.Coming down heavily on the State Government pleader Satish Borulkar, Justice Patel questioned as to how many police officials had been suspended in the last three years for not taking action against human traffickers."The court fails to understand why the police commissioner has not been monitoring the problem of human trafficking," he observed.The court was hearing a petition filed by a non-government organisation "Prerna" which has sought reinvestigation into the case wherein nine girls, who had been rescued from a brothel in 2002, had gone missing.The court was told that the number of minor girls rescued from brothels during the last three years was shocking. As many as 26 girls were rescued in 2003, twelve in 2004, 31 girls were rescued in 2005 and 27 during the current year, the court was told.The matter regarding the nine missing girls was subsequently handed over to the Central Bureau of Investigation. The court today directed the CBI to submit an action plan to enforce the Prevention of Immoral Trafficking Act (PITA). The action plan will be implemented not only in Mumbai and Maharashtra but across the entire country, Additional Solicitor General of India B A Desai told the court on behalf of the CBI.The court also directed Social Service Cell chief, Deputy Commissioner of Police (Enforcement) Sanjay Aparanti, to submit an action taken report within two weeks regarding the nine missing girls who had been rescued from a brothel in Santa Cruz.The court held that the CBI had overriding powers over the police and cannot be prevented from conducting raids at houses and places where such minor girls are kept captive.The court said the CBI should not hesitate to arrest suspects of human trafficking and book them under the Maharashtra Control of Organised Crime Act (MCOCA).The police and the Social Service Cell must cooperate and coordinate with the CBI in this matter, the court said.(UNI)

Hotels, Restaurants Traffickers’ Contact Centres: Report

Hotels, Restaurants Traffickers’ Contact Centres: Report
THT Online
Kathmandu, September 13

Hotels and restaurants, including cabin and dance restaurants, have turned into 'contact centres' for traffickers, the national report (2005), prepared by the National Human Rights Commission, states.
The report on 'Trafficking in Person especially on Women and Children in Nepal', launched on Tuesday by the Office of the National Rapporteur on Trafficking in Women and Children of the National Human Rights Commission, says, "Hotels and restaurants, including cabin restaurants, have turned into 'contact centres' for traffickers. The traffickers do not need to go to villages searching for women and girls for trafficking them as the business is done freely at local hotels and restaurants, including cabin and dance restaurants in the Kathmandu valley, where 30,000 women work."
"The traffickers have begun trafficking women and girls mostly from cabin/dance restaurants of the urban centres and district headquarters. Besides, they have been using border points without adequate patrol along the Nepal-India border for human trafficking. India, apart from being the country of destination, has become the country of transit, too. The girls and women are recruited there as domestic servants as well as sex workers in Bangladesh, Malaysia, Kuwait, Qatar, Dubai, Korea, Thailand and Hong Kong."
"Due to the internal political conflict, many women are fleeing the country to work as domestic workers, mainly in the Gulf countries, despite limited funds and harassment by immigration authorities at Kathmandu Airport and Nepal-India border," the report says.
"In the past, only the women and girls used to be trafficked. Nowadays, even boys and men are trafficked to work forcibly in factories, households and the agriculture sector. Some were even subjected to organ transplantation. The traffickers have been recruiting women and girls from several castes other than traditional trafficking-prone communities such as the Tamangs.
"Political will is necessary to address the problems of trafficking in person effectively. Coordination and networking mechanisms are also essential among organisations involved in anti-trafficking movement. A nationwide data system on human trafficking needs to be developed and women's rights for better employment opportunities in foreign countries strengthened."

SAARC conventions ratified

SAARC conventions ratified [ 2006-9-6 ]
RSSKATHMANDU. Sept. 5: The House of Representatives unanimously ratified the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combatting Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution-2002 at its meeting today.Minister of State for Women, Children and Social Welfare Urmila Aryal had presented a proposal at the meeting of the House of Representatives today seeking the House ratify the Convention.Taking part in the deliberations on the Convention, MPs Kunta Sharma, Kamala Panta Acharya, Sabitri Bogati Pathak and Bhadra Bahadur Thapa said that it has become urgent to ratify the Convention in the context of women in their thousands being trafficked from Nepal for prostitution in India and other countries, the persons involved in such crimes not being penalized and arrangements for the rehabilitation of women victims of trafficking and flesh trade not being made.Answering queries raised in course of the discussions, Minister of State Aryal said that the open border between Nepal and India should be well-regulated and trafficking in women and children for prostitution should be considered as a serious crime after the implementation of the Convention following its ratification.She said the draft of the Laws related to this topic has been prepared and that programme for raising public awareness against the trafficking of women and children for prostitution has been implemented in an organized manner in 15 different Districts.Minister of State Aryal added that the programme was being expanded to eight more Districts. Meanwhile, the SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangements for the Promotion of Child Welfare in South Asia-2002 has been unanimously ratified by the meeting of the House of representatives today.Minister for Women, Children and Social Welfare Urmila Aryal had presented a proposal at the meeting of the House seeking ratification of the Convention.Taking part in the general discussions on the Convention, MP Kunta Sharma said that the children in South Asia are deprived of their rights and that they were being exploited in the name of adoption and a large number of children died in the subcontinent due to malnutrition and other diseases.In response to queries raised in course of the discussions, Minister of State Aryal said that the Convention had to be ratified in order to address various problems relating to the children in South Asia.She said that a ten-year Action Plan has also been prepared for the welfare of the children.Today's meeting of the House of Representatives unanimously approved the proposal seeking that the House consider the Private Sector Investment in Infrastructure Construction and Operation of Technology Bill-2006.Minister for Physical Planning and Works Gopal Man Shrestha presented the proposal to this effect at the meeting.Taking part in the discussions on the proposal, MP Bhadra Bahadur Thapa said that the Government should pay attention to the construction of physical infrastructures by keeping in mind the welfare of the consumers.The meeting also unanimously endorsed the proposal seeking that the House consider the Public Purchase Bill-2006.Home Minister Krishna Prasad Sitaula had tabled the Bill in the House on behalf the Finance Minister.Similarly, the House of Representatives at its meeting today unanimously approved the proposal tabled by Home Minister Sitaula that the House consider the Prison (Second Amendment Bill-2006.Taking part in the discussions on the proposal, MP Yadav Bahadur Rayamajhi demanded that there should be provisions for giving wages to the inmates working at public places after completing a certain term in prison. He also suggested for making the Bill more practical.Likewise, the House unanimously approved the proposal presented by Minister of State for Environment, Science and Technology Man Bahadur Bishwakarma seeking that the House consider the Electronic Transaction Bill-2006.The House of Representatives also unanimously approved the proposal tabled by Minister of State for General Administration Dharmanath Prasad Shaha that the House consider the Civil Service (Second Amendment) Bill-2006. Taking part in the discussions on the proposal, MPs Nara Bahadur Hamal, Umakanta Chaudhari, Ram Kumar Chaudhari, Yadav Bahadur Rayamajhi, Dilli Raj Sharma and Govinda Bikram Shaha said that although the provision of 45 per cent reservation allocated to the women, ethnic communities and the Dalits was welcome, the Bill should also include the deprived communities from the remote areas.They said that performance evaluation should not be carried out by a single person and that extensive discussions was needed regarding the topic of automatic promotion as this provision would create many adverse effects.Answering the queries raised in course of the discussions on behalf the Minister of State Shaha, Minister of State for Environment, Science and Technology Bishwakarma said that the suggestions of the MPs would be incorporated in the Bill.The House of Representatives next meets at 11 a.m. on September 10

UN report focuses on hazards faced by women migrants

New Delhi, Sep 6 (IANS) Looking beyond statistics of 191 million migrants worldwide, a new UN report highlights the benefits of global movement of people while focusing on its dark side - scourge of human trafficking and exploitation of female domestic workers.
Though women constitute half of the migrants, yet it was only recently that policymakers acknowledged the hazards they could face, said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) report 'The State of World Population 2006' released Wednesday.
Brought out ahead of a special UN General Assembly session Sep 13-15 on migration and development, the report stressed that migration could be a win-win situation, but only if women's rights, health and needs are addressed.
'Every year millions of women working overseas send millions of dollars in remittances back to their homes and communities,' said Ena Singh, UNFPA assistant representative in India at the release of the report, which for the first time was accompanied by a youth supplement giving case history of migrants or the families left behind.
'For a long time, the issue of women migrants has been low on the international policy agenda. For the first time government representatives from around the globe will be attending a UN session devoted to migration,' said Singh.
Globally, the migrant workers remit around $232 billion to their country of origin of which $167 billion is received by developing countries.
Despite a dearth of reliable global data, country specific studies reveal how critical is the contribution of female remittances.
'While women tend to send less overall than men, studies reveal that they send a higher proportion of their more meagre earnings to their families back home,' the report said.
While for many women, migration opens doors to a new world of greater equality and relief from oppression, the report stressed that on the contrary millions of female workers face hazards from 'modern-day enslavement of trafficking victims to exploitation of domestic workers'.
The International Labour Organisation (ILO) estimates that around 2.45 million trafficking victims are currently toiling in exploitative conditions worldwide. An estimated 600,000-800,000 women, men and children are trafficked across international borders every year.
Of these 80 percent are women and girls, the report said.
'Human trafficking now constitutes the third most lucrative illicit trade after drugs and arms smuggling and nets an estimated $7-12 billion annually. These numbers however reflect only profits from initial sale of persons.'
The ILO estimates that once victims are in the destination country, criminal syndicates rake in an additional $32 billion a year - half generated in industrialised nations and a third in Asia.
© 2006 Indo-Asian News Service