Hyderabad: Telangana Governor Dr. Tamilisai Soundararajan on Friday launched anti-human trafficking handbooks developed by the US Consulate General Hyderabad and Prajwala, an anti-trafficking NGO in Hyderabad. Acting Consul General, US Consulate General Hyderabad, Clark Ledger attended the event at the Raj Bhavan which coincided with the UN World Day against Human Trafficking.
The handbooks will be used to train and empower district-level law enforcement and prosecution agencies in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, and Odisha to be more effective in countering trafficking in persons.
The target audience for the handbooks are first class magistrates and sessions judges; prosecutors; child welfare committee members; district child protection officers; and relevant civil society organizations across the three states. The handbooks compile all relevant laws, local policies and legislation, and court rulings for each state so that prosecutors have everything they need in one place.
Dr. Soundararajan expressed her deepest anguish about trafficking and reiterated the firm commitment of the government to fight this problem. She urged all stakeholders to ensure rehabilitation of the victims. Speaking at the event, Mr. Ledger said, "All of us - governments, law enforcement, civil society, and individual citizens - must combine our energy, knowledge, and resources to prevent trafficking." He added that the US Embassy and consulates have built partnerships with organizations in India that are actively engaging in anti-trafficking initiatives.
He added that their partnership with Prajwala resulted in a major survivor-led, anti-trafficking caravan that traversed Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, and Odisha in 2016, informing vulnerable communities about what they can do to combat human trafficking.
Sunitha Krishnan, the founder of Prajwala, stressed the need to listen to the voices of victims. While stating that it is important to develop victim-centric anti-trafficking programs, she lauded the new draft Anti-Trafficking Bill as such an effort which will break the foundation of organized criminal syndicates.