India Plans Rehab Program for Human Trafficking Victims

CHENNAI – President Ram Kath Kovind announced that India will begin soon offer vocational training services to more than 500,000 survivors of human trafficking.

The program follows an anti-trafficking bill approved by the cabinet on February 28, 2018. Observers expect the bill to be easily passed by parliament. That bill includes measures that deal with prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation, including “dedicate institutional mechanisms at district, state, and federal levels.” The bill proposes the integration of a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau that is empowered to coordinate with similar international organizations and authorities in foreign governments.

The rehabilitation campaign will work in conjunction with the Skill India program that was established in 2015. The mission of the Skill India program is to train over 400 million Indian people with vocational skills by 2022.

The curriculum for training human trafficking victims was developed by Justice and Care. Justice and Care works to raise awareness in poor communities of the danger of human trafficking and bonded labor. Its services are designed to help families become financially stable to help fight the poverty makes potential victims vulnerable to human trafficking.

The rehabilitation program focuses on victims who have been sexually exploited, trapped in bonded labor, or forced into marriage. Once rescued and freed, many of the victims find themselves once again facing the menace of reluctantly or willingly facing human trafficking as a solution for the poverty they are not otherwise equipped to overcome.

A representative of Justice and Care said those who are poor, illiterate, and unskilled, “are most vulnerable to go back to the same vicious circle of the sex trade and child labor if they are not given proper means of livelihood.”

According to Reuters, “Government data shows that reports of human trafficking rose by almost 20 percent in 2016 against the previous year.”

It is hoped that these new programs will enhance the effectiveness of the Skill India program which has been criticized for large investments with little impact. More than 30 million have passed through the courses, but fewer than three million have been able to obtain job offers.


Image Source:

  • By Leena Kejriwal (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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