NEW YORK: Union Minister of State for Home Affairs Ajay Kumar Mishra on Tuesday (local time) said that India accords high priority to combating human trafficking and that the Indian government is making continuous efforts to prevent and counter-trafficking in persons.
Delivering India's statement at a high-level meeting of the General Assembly on the appraisal of the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, MoS Mishra said, "India recognizes that human trafficking is a serious crime and accords high priority to combating trafficking. The Government of India is making continuous and concerted efforts to prevent and counter-trafficking in persons."
He said that India's anti-trafficking legislative framework is based on the bedrock of Article 23 of the Constitution of India. "With the amendment of our Criminal Law in 2013, trafficking has been defined comprehensively and provisions have been made for stringent punishment for traffickers."
At the United Nations, Mishra also recalled how in 2019, India's National Investigation Agency Act of 2008 was amended whereby the NIA has been authorized to investigate cases of human trafficking. "A number of schemes focusing on rescue, rehabilitation and repatriation of victims of trafficking have been instituted by the Government of India which address specific areas which are victim-centric."
He said stated that the Government of India in association with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), had initiated a multi-year project training for Law Enforcement Officers on human trafficking.
Explaining how the central government in India supports State Governments to strengthen the institutional mechanism to combat Human Trafficking, the minister said that a national level communication platform - Crime Multi-Agency Centre (Cri-MAC) has been launched by the Indian government to facilitate the dissemination of information about significant crimes, including human trafficking cases across the country.
"Apart from having ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime and its protocols, India has signed the SAARC Convention on Prevention and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution and has also signed bilateral Memoranda of Understanding for Prevention of Human Trafficking with several countries," MoS Mishra added.
"India is determined in combating the scourge of human trafficking and remains committed to extending cooperation to all Member States in preventing and countering human trafficking," the minister concluded.