Hyderabad: Pioneers of the battle with human trafficking are now shifting to a first-person approach to fight with the devil. Founder of Prajwala, an anti-human trafficking organisation, and Padmashree awardee Sunitha Krishnan says that in order to generate solutions to the crime, it is important to hear what the survivors have to say.

The organisation has decided to "pass the mic" to these survivors in a webinar being conducted on July 30, recognised as World Day against Trafficking in Persons. A first of its kind, the webinar will feature participants from 12 states, including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, and 2 countries - Bangaldesh and Nepal. They will be sharing their stories and learning from the process. A special panel discussion will include three of the women.



Speaking about the survivors’ roles in designing containment strategies, Sunitha Krishnan says, "These women have often been sidelined and it is high time we listen to what they have to offer. We want them to be at the centre of engagement."

Pandemic and gender-based violence

Krishnan says that there has been a surge in gender-based violence during the pandemic-imposed lockdown. "Children now are more exposed to being put in sexually volatile situations, and this has lead to an increase in cyber trafficking and child sexual abuse material," she comments.

As per the National Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, 40,000 new child sexually abusive content (commonly known as child pornography) was created in India during the months of lockdown.

Apart from this, India is also the biggest contributor of such content worldwide and shares 11.7%, the highest, of the media circulated online. "What is happening is extremely frightening and we are sure the survivors would be able to reflect on what they think is the way ahead," Krishnan adds.

The webinar will be conducted on Zoom, and will be joined by Justice (Retd) Madan B. Lokur, along with officials from the Ministry of Women and Child Development.

You can join the webinar here.

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