Launch of campaign to end human trafficking in Tamil Nadu

13th August: Launch of Coalition

shOUT (Slavery, Human Trafficking, OUT) for Freedom is a Coalition of Non-Governmental organizations that has been formed with the goal of spearheading the movement against human trafficking in Tamil Nadu.

The formal event to launch this coalition will be held between 12 PM and 4:30PM, on Monday, the 13th August, 2018 (in commemoration of World Day against Trafficking in Persons) at the Stella Maris College, Chennai.

The Chief guests, Mr. R. Nallakannu, and Dr. P.M. Nair I.P.S will address the audience comprising of NGOs from all districts of Tamil Nadu, Social work students and members of other Social movements. In addition, there will be special addresses by Mr. Vidyasagar, (former child protection specialist, UNICEF), Mr. Henri Tiphagne (Director, People’s Watch), Ms. Balabarathi (former MLA), Film Maker Mr. Ameer, Released bonded labour Mr. Kanniappan & Ms. Vasantha and the conveners of the coalition. The Coalition will be ceremonially launched by the traditional beating of the parai and subsequently affirmed by pledging to strive to end human trafficking in Tamil Nadu

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

Human trafficking is a heinous crime that exploits vulnerable communities of women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour, sex and body organs. Though the issue of bonded labour, which was present for decades, seems to be eradicated externally, it continues to exist in various forms, as modern-day slavery. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally.

In India, data from the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) indicates that there were 8,132 reported cases of human trafficking across India in 2016. In the same year, 15,379 people were trafficked of whom 9,034 victims were below the age of 18. In addition, 23,117 people were rescued from trafficking situations of whom 14,183 people were below the age of 18. Most of the rescued victims reported are being trafficked for forced labour (10,509 victims), followed by sexual exploitation for prostitution (4,980 victims), and other forms of sexual exploitation (2,590 cases).

About the Coalition: This Coalition is being formed to create an alliance with like-minded individuals and organizations, in order to assist in the demolition of bonded labour in whichever way suits their strengths. The vision for the Coalition is to advocate and protect vulnerable people from the crime of bonded labour by creating a functioning public justice system. By creating momentum on this issue, they plan to make the issue of bonded labour visible.

The coalition seeks to identify bonded labour crimes, provide sustainable rehabilitation to the survivors of bonded labour, pursue advocacy initiatives, advocate for policy reform and ensure compliance to legal mechanisms.