Odisha Channel Bureau Bhubaneswar, Aug 28: Trafficking of girls and women is an extremely critical issue of national and international importance and Odisha Government has initiated a number of steps to contain trafficking of girls and women, said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik here today.Inaugurating a two-day convention on `Interstate Coordination on Anti Trafficking of Girls and Women’ organised by the Odisha State Commission for Women, Patnaik said that lack of education, poverty, unemployment is catalytic factors for such trafficking.“Unscrupulous elements take advantage of poor socio-economic condition and indulge in organized trafficking of girls and women for variety of purposes including domestic employment, sex trade and forced marriage,” he said.The Chief Minister said that the most significant of steps to contain human trafficking is the setting up of Integrated Anti-Human Trafficking Units in all the districts of the State.Odisha is one of the leading States in this direction, he added.The Crime Branch of the State police plays a crucial nodal role in ensuring coordinated efforts to prevent and detect cases of trafficking, and Women & Child Development Department has been spreading awareness in rural and vulnerable areas against trafficking, Patnaik added. District level functionaries have been sensitized to identify organized traffickers and initiate stringent legal action against them, and State Police has taken proactive steps to rescue trafficked children, many of whom are girls, he said.Patnaik further informed that during January 2015, “Operation Smile” was launched by State Police which resulted in rescue of 335 children from different parts of the State. During the month of July, 2015, State police launched “Operation Muskan” in which 87 children were rescued from 10 outside states by joint teams of Police and Women & Child Development Department, he further said. The Chief Minister said many of the rescued children who were reported as missing, in fact, were trafficked.Women & Child Development Department is initiating appropriate steps for reuniting the children with their parents and for their rehabilitation.He expressed hope that at the end of the convention, a concrete action plan shall emerge to prevent and detect cases of trafficking.Among others Women & Child Development Minister Usha Devi, Chairperson of National Commission for Women Lalitha Kumaramangalam, Chairperson of Odisha State Commission for Women Lopamudra Buxipatra, Home Department Principal Secretary Asit Tripathy and Women & Child Development Secretary Vishal Dev also spoke on the occasion.
August 28, 2015