Bhubaneswar, Dec 20:
Institute for Social Development, Bhubaneswar, in association with Apne Aap Women Worldwide (AAWW), a national anti-trafficking NGO, organised a one day state level consultation here on Friday to develop a policy for victims and survivors of prostitution after the passage of Sec 370 IPC in April 2013.
“Section 370 of the IPC has criminalized trafficking from recruitment, to harbouring, transfer, transport and receipt for the purpose of sexual exploitation. But it has not laid down any guidelines or budget allocation for prevention, victim protection, and prosecution or survivor rehabilitation, restoration and reintegration. The government of India has also not nullified the old anti-trafficking law, Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, which has clauses in contradiction to Section 370.
Apne Aap is holding consultations with state level grassroots NGOs to prepare a set of recommendations to rationalize the two laws and build pressure to create a survivor-sensitive policy with proper budget allocations,” said Founder, AAWW Ruchira Gupta.
Director General of Police (DGP) Prakash Mishra said there are three million women and girls trapped in prostitution in our country, of which 1.4 million are girls. The average age of entry into prostitution is between nine and thirteen, according to the National Human Rights Commission, he said.
Recent researches and an Apne Aap study conducted in Odisha revealed that the age of entry is constantly going down while the number of trafficked girls is steadily going up. The studies also reveal that trafficking is largely in the guise of marriage, forced labour, domestic servitude indicating a clear link between trafficking, sexual exploitation and prostitution. The movement is largely towards cities like Delhi and Mumbai and states like Haryana, UP, Rajasthan.
Ashok Mohanty, Advocate General of Odisha and Subhashree Das, Director of Institute for Social Development also spoke on the occasion.