Ensuring A Safer India - Eastern Mirror
Monday, March 04, 2024

Ensuring a Safer India

By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 25, 2023 12:18 am

Notwithstanding various laws including the most recent women reservation bill, Indian women are still falling prey to the traps of human traffickers, as evidenced by the 1.31 million women and girls that went missing between 2019 to 2021. According to the report of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a million women above 18 years, and a quarter of a million girls below the age of 18 went missing.  NCRB has also identified Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal as hotspots of women trafficking based on the number of missing cases lodged in these states. More worrying is the fact that the majority of women that went missing were from major metropolitan cities like Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune and Indore, etc., where security arrangements are reportedly better than other parts of the country. These figures highlight the fact that women’s security in India is much below basic requirements and immediate, collaborative and comprehensive work needs to be undertaken to make India safer for women. The magnitude of missing women and girls from the country is definitely a black spot on India’s image as a progressive society, which pledges equality for all irrespective of caste, creed and gender. The alarming trend further signifies that even after more than seven and a half decades of Independence, Indian women are still not safe as schemes such as  trafficking, rape, molestation and discrimination are rampant. Such acts are against basic human rights and goes again norms of a civilised society, and it is high time for us to work on the remedies of such ills.

The fact that women and girls represent 72% of all trafficking victims globally as highlighted by Asa Regener, UN Women Deputy Executive Director, speaks to a systemic problem in the world today. And India in particular must work on a war footing to establish policies, programmes and other measures aimed at preventing trafficking and preventing trafficked persons from being victimised again. A nation wide campaign must target gender discrimination and educate the public on basic human rights and equality of all human beings especially in patriarchal societies. Examples of how traffickers prey on people must be highlighted, and the existence of vulnerable situations of inequality and injustice such as poverty and illiteracy must be addressed by lawmakers. Natural disasters and man made disasters may exacerbate such illicit activities and thus relief and care programmes must include specialised focus on women and children. In general situations, the public must be made aware of signs of trafficking and be informed on the actions that can be taken without putting themselves at risk. The joint  involvement of local police, NGOs and community participation is key to the prevention of trafficking. Prosecution and severe punishment of perpetrators is of great importance in this matter so as to deter future crimes. The dire situation demands a collective effort both by society and authorities concerned if India is truly committed to gender equality and safety for all.

By The Editorial Team Updated: Sep 25, 2023 12:18:02 am
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