Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Book on human trafficking

Finally my edited book 'Human Trafficking: Stakeholders Perspective' is published by Sage publications. The best practitioners, activists, intellectuals, academicians and Non profit organizations have contributed. It gives a chance to look at human trafficking from different lenses and motivates the agencies to sharpen their combating arsenal.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Pathetic treatment of child sex trafficked victims

Watched a very interesting investigative documentary by CNN on child sex trafficking- "Selling the Girl Next Door". I congratulate the documentary film maker for bringing out the visuals out of detention center in US. It was pathetic and horrifying to see the girl victims of sex trafficking, as young as 12 years, being chained. They were chained at multiple places, Belly chains, handcuffs and foot chains.

Interestingly, rather than being remorseful the government authorities had absurd justification to it. Shackling this victims was for their safety. I totally disagree with the justification of keeping the girl trafficked in detention center shackled like a heinous crime offender for safety. They wanted to justify shackling a 'victim' child in chains within 'four walls' to protect. That was disgusting. It reflected that they do not even trust their own security system and anticipate a 12 year old child 'victim' to be a threat to others or may escape. 

What sort of protection are we talking about. These child trafficked victims have already gone through enough of physical and psychological trauma. More than physical, it is the psychological damage, which needs to be repaired and protected from further harm. Through this insensitive act in juvenile detention homes, the state agencies caused more harm than healing. 

Nowhere in the picture I sensed that they were treated as victims. Something has to be done immediately to check this malpractice across US (the film categorically mentions that it is a practice prevalent in almost all states). This is certainly violation of child rights. 

The reason for the child trafficked victim being kept in detention centers, instead of safe houses is lack of infrastructure and the State governments unwillingness to disburse money for running it (if a structure is created through Public Private Partnership). We cannot wait for the governments to release funds for new safe homes. Why not customize a section of detention center and make it child friendly. Why not tap the potential of NGOs, philanthropic foundations and other donors. 

Coming back to the core issue of discussion, in my opinion chaining any child below 18 years, for whatever crime they commit, is like treating them as adults. Then why the farce of showing it to the world that children (as per UN Convention, any person below 18 years) are treated different.

US is gearing up to combat human trafficking. It is the only country coming out with TIP report, evaluating the efforts of 185 countries (rest are the reports of UN agencies). US has always been rating themselves in Tier 1 list. The credibility of its evaluation will be questioned if they do not manage their own backyard.