A comprehensive open discussion oriented workshop with the public prosecutors was organized at the District Resource Centre, at Nuh organized by Empower People, Mewat unit under the IPAP project of DFID and Actionaid India. This workshop was aimed for the sensitization of the public prosecutors and judicial magistrate. A total of 17 public prosecutors president and general secretary of Mewat Bar Association were participated in the workshop. 6 Project Staff of Community Based Action Against Human Trafficking In Mewat (COMBAAHT) were also participated.
The workshop starts with the presentation of the bouquets to the President and General Secretary of Bar Association by Mrs. Gaushiya Khan the fellow in the project. During the introductory facilitation by project coordinator Mr. Dinesh Gautam , a brief introduction about the project COMBAAHT in Mewat, Actionaid India and Empower People was given. The objective of the organizing such a workshop was also shared. Ms. Gaushiya khan shared what actually we are doing and the practical aspects of the project. She also shared some achievements of the project like the cases and the purview of the project.
Finally the trainer Mr. Shafiqur Rahman Khan took the command and smoothly opened the discussions with the participants. He started with the issue of the need of the shelter home in Mewat, to which Mr. Tahir Hussain, replied that of course there is an urgent need of the shelter home in Mewat and there are possibilities of the same to opened in the near future as the government is also taking interest in issue. Some advocates raised the questions of safety in those shelter homes and shared the case of Rohtak shelter home which was raided by the Government Officials. They also shared their concerns regarding the credibility of shelter homes. But participants showed their support in helping and starting the shelter home in future.
Another question was thrown by the trainer that why the society of Mewat is silent on the issues of Paro (trafficked bride). One of the advocates objected to it and said there is no case of Paro in Mewat and it’s not a major issue of discussion. But contradictory to it Mr. Tahir shared a cases of a village called Palla during the last year where the case of trafficking was registered and then trial has began.
While discussing the issue of domestic violence everyone was in total agreement that domestic violence is very prevalent in Mewat but the issue of Paro is being highlighted more by the media. One of them stated that no one traffics the Paro but they get off or run away with their own and many a times with the valuables.
Over the issue of violence against women the factors enlisted by the participants were like this:
To the issue of bonded labor (trafficking victims can be rescued under bonded labor Act) participants informed us that there is not a single case of bonded labour registered or convicted in last decade. While discussing some article of the Indian Penal Code, the information came into light that there are only 3 cases under ITPA out of which 2 were registered at Nuh Police Station and another one was at Taudu Block in 2003. The 2 at Nuh are under trial in the district court. Discussing on Article 366 A & B, it was shared that a majority of cases comes under this section and there are many cases which are under trial and pending for trial.
The trainer shared a study that most of the Paros are being sold at least 4 times. He was of a view that may be the participants are rejecting the issues of Paro because the administration or the communities don’t go into the history of the cases or the particular woman. So, a strong tracking mechanism is needed to find out the root of the trafficking. He shared a case of a 15 years old girl who was sold to an 68 year old man in Nagina block of Mewat to which no one responded and kept silence. Then following this he coined a question that what kind of mechanism can be developed for these kinds of cases.
How a poor and helpless women and Paro can access the legal help, this was the big issue of discussion during the workshop. On this some senior advocates shared that there are District Legal Service Authorities where free of cost legal assistance is provided to the needy, poor or helpless women or victim. All fee and charges are paid by the government to contest the cases.
There was a question from the trainer’s side that why the behavior of these Paros or the trafficked girls is so violent and aggressive. He shared some cases where these girls attacked the rescuer party. Some times the advocates become the prey to these girls. Some time ago the same thing happened in Gurgaon but the advocated denied of these kinds of accidents in Mewat. The reason behind this violent behavior as per the trainer’s experience and studies was that these girls are under social stigma due breach of faith by their own close relative and family members. So they look at everyone with suspicion and mistrust.
A six page brief copy of a manual for public prosecutors (attached separately within this mail) was shared to the participants. It was decided that the full 133 page version of the same manual will be delivered to every participants afterwards. This manual has been prepared by Mr. Shafiqur Rahman Khan after deep studies and research in the filed of trafficking. There are a number of case studies also which are illustrated in this manual in details.
Shafiq shares his experience and techniques to curb the traffickers additionally he shares some issues related to trafficking
Crimes associated with human trafficking
Sexual assault and battery
Prostitution, pandering or
Bonded labor ship
He also shared The Mindset of a Human Trafficking victim.
The following points illustrate how victims of trafficking may see themselves and their situations. It highlights the challenges that you may face as a law enforcement officer/ public prosecutors when interacting with potential victims.
Because most victims are afraid and initially hesitant to cooperate, often fearing for their lives.