Unique ID To Help Victims Of Trafficking Get Financial Help

Date: Monday, January 21, 2019

Location: Kolkata

In what might offer some much needed respite to rescued victims of trafficking, the central ministry of finance has decided to form a task force to work out modalities for extending benefits of financial help. The victims are likely to be issued a unique ID card and a valid bank account so that the money can reach them directly.

The development came after relentless agitation and pressure from various NGOs — especially those working in Bengal — after they found several hundreds of the rescued women had little means to go back to normal life, let alone pursue normal or vocational education.

Bengal continues to dominate others as far as rescuing trafficked women is concerned — in data released last July, the ministry of home affairs has stated that the state has managed to rescue a total of 46,152 missing children between 2012 and 2017, the highest in the country.

Rishi Kant of the NGO Shakti Vahini — whose nominee will be part of the task force — said this move will help the victims avail of all government schemes. “In the past, we had hundreds of victims not getting their compensation package due to lack of valid identity cards,” he said.

The task force will also include another NGO, Prayas, besides representatives from the ministry of health and family welfare, ministry of women and child development, ministry of home affairs, UIDAI and NACO. It will be headed by Anindita Sinha Ray, the director at department of financial services and will have members from two of the biggest public sector banks — State Bank of India and Punjab National Bank — who will maintain the account. Sources said that once the new bill against child trafficking is passed in the Rajya Sabha, the Centre will earmark Rs 10 crore for the rescued victims. The task force hopes to complete all modalities by the end of this month.

The development will come as a boost for Bengal, whose recovery rate of 67%-77% in a year is decent when compared to other states. The state hopes that by the end of this year — with several state agencies and departments working in tandem — the rescue rate can be taken to around 80%.

Sources claimed the trafficking gangs target “aspiring” girls from poor families in underdeveloped areas and force them into prostitution. Almost 40% of about 5,000 girls who have been trafficked are suspected to be from South 24 Parganas.

Read The Times of India (source) article here.

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