‘Need to sensitise people about trafficking problem’

Home Minister has called for sensitising people dealing with the trafficking problem.

New Delhi: Terming human trafficking as a
"cold" and "cruel" fact, Home Minister P Chidambaram Friday said there was a need to sensitise people dealing with the crime including the police and the judiciary.

"This is a fact...it (human trafficking) is a cold,
hard, cruel and painful fact and a very large number of
people especially women are trafficked every year. In any
crime of trafficking, there is a criminal and there is a
victim but our system tends to treat both more or less on
par," he said.

Chidambaram was speaking while inaugurating a
certificate course on anti-human trafficking-- a collaboration
programme of the Indira Gandhi National Open University
(IGNOU) and Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)-- on the occasion
of World Human Rights day today.

"Often we find that the victim`s trauma does not end
with the...investigation and prosecution of the case. We
often find that the criminal is arrested and the victim (who)
is trafficked are both treated as criminals," he said while
addressing a group of trainee CRPF officers, policemen and
IGNOU students.

It is important that we sensitise all persons
concerned with the crime begining from the policeman at the
police station to the judge who delivers the verdict, he said.

He rued that the job of tackling the problem is not
"sought after" or desired by many.

"Even within the police set up, there are jobs that
are sought after and there are jobs that are shunned," he
said, expressing confidence that all states would agree to post
officers who mandatory undertake such a course before being appointed in anti-human trafficking units.
"They (enforcement officials and other stakeholders)
must adopt a humane, intelligent, modern human rights
sensitive approach to the problem. It is not going to be easy.

"We are a large country with a large police force...it
will not be easy to sensitise and educate them on adopting a
human rights approach to the problem of trafficking. That is
why we welcome this initiative (the new course by IGNOU and
MHA)," he said, adding the government is planning to establish
330 anti-trafficking units in the next three years.
The Home Minister said he does not think that the
problem of trafficking has been contained.

"I am not persuaded that the crime has been controlled
or it is been contained. It simply shows that in recent years
perhaps the attention of the police forces have been turned to
other crimes and, therefore, the detection, registration and
prosecution of trafficking related crimes has perhaps
declined," he said.