on the details of
Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Mau and Azamgarh districts of Uttar Pradesh, India.
Guriya started working since 1992 to address the issues related to children of sex workers and to fight against forced prostitution. Guria started its journey with adoption of 3 children of a woman in prostitution (WIP). After fighting their cause for all these years with the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), National Commission for Women, running educational programs for the children of the WIP, Guriya has been able to break the nexus of mafia-pimp-police to a great extent. The team is now concentrating on eliminating second-generation prostitution, preventing child prostitution and trafficking of women and children for prostitution and other forms of sexual exploitation. It also works for creating an exploitation free red light area. The strategy is to create awareness among the women in prostitution of their human and civil rights and to end their dependence on the criminal nexus in the ‘red light areas’.
The extent of trafficking in the eastern parts of Uttar Pradesh is grave, and inaction on part of the administration makes it even worse. The geographical location of the state makes it feasible for the origin, transition and culmination of trafficking. There has been an increase in the number of people missing from the state and it includes mostly minor girls and women. With further breakdown of the data, 94% of the missing persons are from backward and scheduled caste.
Children and women are easily trafficked to other states of the country as well as cross border. In the past few years, there has been a major increase in the cross border trafficking through Nepal as it shares a free border with India. While women and children are particularly vulnerable to trafficking for the sex trade, human trafficking is not limited to sexual exploitation. It also includes persons who are trafficked into 'forced' marriages or into bonded labor markets, such as sweat shops, agricultural plantations, or domestic service. One of the most important constraints in developing sustainable and comprehensive strategies to combat trafficking has been the lack of validated data and information. Law enforcement is hampered by serious limitations as trafficking is a very complex crime, extending beyond the jurisdictional boundaries of law enforcement officials. This is further compounded by lack of proper procedures for assessment of age of the rescued victims, inadequacy of women police staff, and absence of training / orientation / infrastructure as well as public support systems.
- Raise awareness among community members.
- Preparation for rescue operations to be done before each rescue operation.
- Rescue of children from sex slavery and bonded labor.
- Providing post rescue support to the victims rescued.
- Providing legal support and restoration procedures to victims.
- Ensuring repatriation, rehabilitation and follow up on social reintegration of children rescued from sex slavery/forced labor.
- Pursuing PIL's on implementation gaps of Illegal Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA) and Juvenile Justice Act (JJA).
- Advocacy on witness protection and double victimisation/re-traumatisation.
Achievements & Impact in the Review Period
Guria with support from CRY has been intervening in Gorakpur, Varanasi, Mau and Azamgarh, the 4 intervention districts of Eastern UP. These districts are origin, transit and culmination point of child trafficking and child prostitution. Eastern UP is the area with high incidence of child trafficking and child prostitution because of its geographical location. The team has been working on the issue of trafficking and with the children in sex trade and children of sex workers whose number has been increasing almost every day. Uttar Pradesh is known for source, transit and destination area of trafficking and it is difficult to overlook this issue. In such a situation, the team’s work in rescuing trafficked children, following the cases through legal intervention (to punish the traffickers) and generating awareness among people is important. Guriya has constructively engaged with concerned national institutions (NCPCR, NHRC), local administration, police, Supreme Court, regional judiciary and security forces (SSB). The team is also engaging in policy making to control human trafficking at the national level. Major achievements in the review period include:
- Based on the Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of Guria, victim compensation fund created.
- Guria nominated as a member of the Central Nodal Agency to Combat Trafficking under Government of India. Guria was also nominated as the member of the State Advisory Board - Government of Uttar Pradesh on effective implementation, evaluation and advice on the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children ) Act, 2000 and The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO Act).
- Rescued 386 persons from slavery/human trafficking/sex trafficking.
- Bail plea of 26 human traffickers rejected as a result of follow up of cases done by the team.
- 4 human traffickers convicted.
- Based on Public Interest Litigation (PIL) of Guria, the Hon’ble High Court of UP issued directives, which compelled the state government to recruit women police officers at each and every police station for registering FIR with respect to outrage of modesty of girls/women, arrangement for videography of all statements of the victims of human trafficking, sexual exploitation and acid attacks.
- Legal intervention initiated by Guria in 107 new cases against 180 human traffickers.
15 year old Chandani Yadav from Varanasi, India was enticed on ground of marriage and trafficked by the accused in November, 2015. When her parents realized that Chandani was missing, they immediately approached the local police station for help but no First Information Report (FIR) was registered. After some efforts and struggle, an FIR was finally registered with an unnamed accused. Distressed and anxious her family members approached CRY America supported project Guria for help. With its experience and network the Guria team was successful in rescuing little Chandani with the help of local police. The suspected child trafficker was also arrested within a month on 13th December 2014. Today, Chandani has returned to a life of freedom and security. CRY America supported project Guriya has been working tirelessly to rescue, rehabilitate and prevent children from becoming victims of child trafficking in Gorakhpur, Varanasi, Mirzapur, and Azamgarh regions of Eastern Uttar Pradesh, India. The project helps children come back to a life full of opportunities and hope for a better future.
The broad plans for this year are as follows:
Focus 1: Raise awareness among community members about safe migration & trafficking of children from source/transit areas.
- Understand situation of migration, process & status of rehabilitated children from Eastern UP.
- Capacity building of team on qualitative research tools and testimonial procedures.
- Regular meetings with children, school teachers, parents on key threat in case of migration and local context of trafficking.
Focus 2 : Rescue of children from sex slavery and bonded labor
- Rescue operations in identified brothels, brick kilns, mines and other worksites; evidence collection and pursuing cases for issue of certificates.
- Sharing the information with the core committee of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) will result into rescue of children from sex slavery and worksites.
Focus 3: Pursuing Public Interest Litigation(PIL) on implementation gaps of Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) and Juvenile Justice Act (JJA)
- There will be pro-children judgements through Public Interest Litigation (PIL) on implementation of ITPA and JJA. Follow up of implementation guidelines as per judgement in individual cases and procedural changes.
Focus 4 : Advocacy on witness protection and double victimisation/re-traumatisation.
- Knowledge building/updating information on pro-children judgements.
- Scaling up discussions /debates on the issue of slavery and bonded labor at national/international platforms.
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