The Swayam Siddha model in Bengal that has yielded positive results in preventing human trafficking — where rescued women work in tandem with prevention action groups and police — will now be implemented in Bihar, Jharkhand and Assam by NGO Shakti Vahini and the US Consulate, Kolkata.
The 9th anti-trafficking conclave partnered by US Consulate and NGO Shakti Vahini, held at the American enter in Kolkata, saw academics, activists, trafficking survivors, teachers, government representatives and vulnerable teenagers, attending the two-day event.
Activist Rishi Kant, present at the inaugural session, said, “As per data of the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights, areas where we worked, cases of human trafficking reduced from around 5,000 to a few hundred now. Since 2017, Bengal police collaborated with us to conduct workshops, including training of 1,910 cops and 290 investigators during the second year of Covid-19. Our prevention campaigns reached four million, leading to rescue of 89 children.”
Talking about the post-Covid engagement of Swayam Sidhha, Kant said while starting work on three high-source states, the pandemic broke out, leading to the question of online trafficking. During pandemic online trafficing too had come to the fore. The conclave was attended by NGOs from neighbouring states. US Consul General Melinda Pavek said, “Human trafficking can’t be stopped by one country, state or entity.” Different sections of society must work together.