New Delhi, July 11: The Centre is planning to hold a comprehensive workshop for tribal women in Jharkhand to make them more alert to the menace of human trafficking, the decision mirroring its concern over the rise in number of such victims from the state.
Krishna Tirath, Union minister of women and child development who met Jharkhand Women’s Commission member Vasavi Kiro in Delhi today, said the workshop would be held sometime in August-September and include sessions on issues related to human trafficking and buying and selling of girls for prostitution.
According to ministry sources, Kiro, while requesting the workshop, also asked the minister to hold consultative meetings to discuss laws to ensure safety of women from Jharkhand working in other states, strict action against illegal placement agencies and other related issues.
The Centre, the sources said, has for long been concerned at the trafficking situation in Jharkhand, particularly in the six districts of Santhal Pargana, Palamau, Garhwa, Chaibasa, Lohardaga, Khunti, Dhanbad, Bokaro and Ranchi.
Activists claim that nearly 10 lakh tribal girls have been trafficked since Jharkhand was formed in 2000.
According to Action Against Trafficking & Sexual Exploitation of Children (ATSEC), an NGO working among wronged women, most of Jharkhand’s victims — often children, too — belonged to the Oraon, Munda, Santhal and Gond tribes.
Of the total number of girls trafficked in the state, 77 per cent were from Scheduled Tribes, 12 per cent from Scheduled Castes, 3 per cent from general and 8 per cent from OBC categories.
Illiteracy, deplorable living conditions due to minuscule economic development and life of depravation due to fewer employment opportunities make them vulnerable.
“This menace can only be curbed if we have commitment from NGOs, civil society, the State Women’s Commission and the state of Jharkhand along with the police and the judiciary,” said an official in the ministry.
“The government has to generate enough livelihoods to check women from seeking employment elsewhere. The ministry is confident that regular consultations can help Jharkhand,” he said, adding that the ministry was also organising a meet of all eastern states in Delhi to discuss property and land ownership rights of women.