Indian Government Addresses Human Trafficking
Northern India — The central government in India is taking significant steps to address the issue of human trafficking in their country. From 2008 to 2009, the government allocated a special budget to the Ministry of Home Affairs to create 297 anti-human trafficking units across the nation with the purpose of training and sensitizing law enforcement officials to begin seeing trafficked girls as victims, not willing participants. These units were trained to act in the best interest of the victim in order to prevent secondary victimization or re-victimization of those being rescued.
Additionally, 35 anti-human trafficking police units were established in Northern India to help address the growing issue. These officers were not familiar with proper procedures following a raid, including how to coordinate with different semi-government bodies and voluntary organizations, which often leads to penalizing the victims as opposed to coming to their aid.
Bright Hope's Anti-Human Trafficking team was invited to take part in a recent training of officers from 24 districts. During the training, the team showed “Jindagi,” a documentary based on the true story of a trafficked girl. The grief and helplessness of the girl in the movie moved the police officers. As a result the officers were motivated to change their mindset from perceiving these women and children as filthy things to victims. At the end of the movie and conversation, they agreed that these girls are victims, and that it is imperative that they be treated with compassion.
The participants left making their primary mission to be compassionate protectors. The training sessions have given them a new direction, new focus and a commitment to work against the crime of human trafficking as a united front.