To Curb Child Trafficking, Railway Protection Force Joins Hands With Association For Voluntary Action

by Arun Kumar Das - May 8, 2022 12:56 PM +05:30 IST
To Curb Child Trafficking, Railway Protection Force Joins Hands With Association For Voluntary ActionMoU signed between RPF and AVA
Snapshot
  • The Railway Protection Force (RPF) will work with the Association for Voluntary Action (AVA) to prevent human trafficking in the country.

The Railway Protection Force (RPF) has joined hands with the Association for Voluntary Action (AVA) to prevent human trafficking, especially child trafficking, and create awareness against it in the country.

Why the Railways? The Railways is the lifeline of the nation as it is the primary transporter of the country and, therefore, a major route for human traffickers for transportation.

The RPF personnel deployed at railway stations and trains are strategically positioned to intercept trafficking before the victim reaches the destination and the exploitation begins.

With its strategic positioning and pan-India reach, the RPF can supplement the nation’s efforts to curb human trafficking.

The partnership. With a view to work together with a common goal of making the nation trafficking-free, RPF director general (DG) Sanjay Chander had a detailed discussion with Rajni Sibal, the chief executive of Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation (KSCF).

The deliberations were taken forward with the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU), with both RPF and AVA (also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan) pledging to work together to:

- Share information

- Build capacity of RPF personnel and railway employees to work against human trafficking

- Increase sensitisation and create awareness, and

- Help each other in identification and detection of cases of human trafficking

A joint action by both stakeholders under the framework of the MoU will enhance the scale, reach, and effectiveness of “Operation AAHT” (Action against Human Trafficking), launched by RPF across the nation.

The Railway Protection Force is entrusted with the responsibility of security of railway property, passenger area, and passengers. It has been discharging its responsibility as mandated by the standard operating procedure for the rescue of children issued by the Ministry of Railways and working with other stakeholders to rescue more than 50,000 children since 2018 under "Operation Nanhe Farishte."

The RPF has recently launched “Operation AAHT” to take stringent action against human trafficking through rail and has been rescuing victims of human trafficking from the clutches of traffickers. In the course of its action against traffickers, it has rescued more than 1,400 minors, including 298 minor girls from the clutches of traffickers.

The Force has also set up Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) at more than 740 locations across India, instructed to take action against human trafficking in coordination with other agencies in this field.

The Association of Voluntary Action was founded in 1979 under the leadership of Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi with the mission to eliminate all forms of violence against children and to create a world where all children are free, safe, and healthy and receive quality education.

The AVA aims to achieve this mission through collaborative action, strengthening national and global policies, building capacity of duty bearers, and identifying and replicating best practices in the implementation of the policy or regulatory framework relating to child protection. It is a crucial stakeholder with a large network of dedicated field agents and volunteers spread across the nation.

The AVA has been sharing information against child trafficking with police/RPF and assisting in the arrest of traffickers/rescue of victims and has gathered domain knowledge and expertise in the field of action against child trafficking.

Arun Kumar Das is a senior journalist covering railways. He can be contacted at akdas2005@gmail.com.


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