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Workshop on child trafficking held

From a Correspondent
Goalpara, Oct 11: Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) in collaboration with District Child Protection units and with support from UNICEF Assam, organized the first one-day sensitization workshop with special focus on child trafficking on October 11 at the Natasurjya Phani Sharma Auditorium, Goalpara.  Birubala Rabha, a renowned social worker on witch hunting, speaking as chief guest on the occasion, said that trafficking was a menace. She cited examples of her rigorous work over the years on witch hunting and emphasized that the society as a whole had to come forward and act in coordination and collaboration with the stakeholders to fight violence against children.
 Madhusudan Nath, CEO, Zilla Parishad, Goalpara, while speaking on the occasion, wished that the workshop would come up with concrete findings which would form a safety net for protecting the children from falling prey to traffickers. Mahmud Hassan, District Development Commissioner, Dhubri, cited few examples of cases of violence against children and the need for new Acts. He further said that the role of every member of the society to take care of each other was an important force that would be required to fight the occurrence of such incidents against children. The role of institutions like the PRIs and the village-level committees was very crucial and they should come forward to provide protection to children, he added.
 Dr. Sunita Changkakati, chairperson, Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, presented case examples to the gathering and cited practical situations on how trafficking happened and said that usually people known to the victims were involved in trafficking.
 The day-long workshop focused on the concept of child trafficking and the legal framework to curb the menace of the crime. It also encompassed discussion on the bottlenecks of the institutions and departments to combat trafficking.  The focus of the workshop was also to arrive at a common understanding of trends of child trafficking in Assam and to find concrete solution to combat child trafficking in Assam.
 The participants included the presidents of Panchayat, Child Welfare Police Officers from police stations, officials from District Child Protection Units, NGOs, civil administration and officials from Labour department. The participant districts were Goalpara, Barpeta, Dhubri and Bongaigaon. This was the first zonal-level workshop of the series of zonal-level workshops that the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights has planned with UNICEF Assam as a part of the ‘Stop Child Trafficking’ campaign.