GUWAHATI: Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights (ASCPCR) in collaboration with UNICEF Assam organized a State Level Workshop on Prevention and Response to Combat Child Trafficking in Assam held at Guwahati on December 21 at the Assam Administrative Staff College, Guwahati, Assam.
Sunita Changkakati, Chairperson of the Assam State Commission for Protection of Child Rights while delivering her welcome address mentioned that Assam is a source state for child trafficking since the children are being trafficked to various destination states and are subjected to various forms of torture and exploitation. She mentioned that the findings and observations of the Zonal Level Consultations held in the year 2017 have put forward certain issues that need detailed deliberation and therefore, the workshop will focus on the issues of ensuring justice to the victim of child trafficking.
Tushar Rane, Chief of UNICEF Assam speaking on the occasion gave a brief overview of the context and data on child trafficking and appreciated the child protection work force for their tremendous work towards the rescue and protection of vulnerable children. He emphasised that to combat child trafficking, it is important to simultaneously work on the preventive and responsive measures. He stressed on ensuring that the reporting mechanisms are functional and effective. Since most cases of trafficking are interstate cases, we must develop strategies for joint prosecution and investigation and coordinating rescue and reintegration mentioned Doctor Rane.
The Chief Guest, Siddhartha Bhattacharya, Minister of Education, GDD and Law and Justice in his address expressed his thanks to ASCPCR and UNICEF for the initiative and coming up with the idea of collating information from the grass-root level and converging at the state level. He stressed that the issues of child trafficking needs to be addressed in convergence of various stakeholders by establishing strong links between the rescue, prosecution till conviction and rehabilitation.
The State Level Workshop discussed the key bottlenecks in addressing the issues of Child Trafficking and also explored and identified the key areas of intervention to combat child trafficking and ensure justice to the victim. In line with the objective, the workshop intended to: Discuss the findings of the zonal level workshops held in the year 2017 with all concerned key stakeholders, discuss about the Change Management and case management of victims of trafficking, issues of victim compensation, bottlenecks in prosecution and conviction in trafficking and interstate investigation, coordination, rescue and reintegration (joint prosecution and investigation).
The participants included representatives from the Department of Social Welfare, State Child Protection Society, Police, District Legal Services Authority, Child Welfare Committee, District Child Protection Unit and Civil Society Organizations from all the districts of the state.
Among guests and Resource Persons were, Surendra Kumar, IPS, IGP (CID) Assam, S N Sarma, Member Secretary, State Legal Services Authority, Kaushik Gupta, Advocate Calcutta High Court, Pompi Banerjee from SANJOG and Juanita Kakoty from ARPAN.
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