Caritas India together with Asia Partnership for Human Development (APHD) has been engaged in countering human trafficking in the country for past 10 years by promoting prevention, protection, rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration at various levels through regional partners. The key focus has been on addressing trafficking in the process of migration for domestic work.
12th December is observed internationally as Anti- Human Trafficking Day and 10th December as the International Human Rights Day. Taking this opportunity, Caritas India with the collaboration of several agencies observed Anti-Human Trafficking day on 9 December at Jantar Mantar to dedicate the day to remember those who have been trafficked and to further create awareness on the issue.
Over 200 people participated, mainly domestic workers from different parts of Delhi. Ms. Bharti Sharma, the Chairperson of Child Welfare Council (CWC) inaugurated the programme. It was demonstrative programme with testimonial case sharing and street-play on human trafficking for domestic work.
Fr Varghese Mattamana, Executive Director Caritas India said human trafficking is the worse form of human rights violation. He emphasized on the pertinence of networking & collaboration if human trafficking is to be addressed effectively both at the place of origin and destination. He further added that a concerted response is the need of the hour.
Ms. Bharti Sharma in her speech said the situation of domestic workers in Delhi is very painful. They are trafficked and re-trafficked to different places. She added, “we need to be united to address issues of discrimination and violence against domestic workers and the CWC will give all the support required”.
According to Ms. Jyostna Chatterjee, Joint Women’s Programme, human trafficking is a serious worldwide issue, as women are trafficked both for domestic work and prostitution. She said the focus of the day’s demonstration is on the problems of domestic workers and their demands for suitable legislation to provide regulation of their work, end exploitation, denial of fair wages and social security.
Caritas India also took the initiative of campaigning for the prevention of human trafficking at the regional level. A prayer in Hindi & English and posters were sent to all the 159 Bishops, 159 Dioceses, few congregations & institutions mainly working in the tribal belt, NGOs, all the Parishes of Delhi and Formation houses in Berhampur and Jharkhand.
A memorandum drafted jointly by Caritas India & other agencies to seek mandatory registration of all domestic workers with an appropriate government agency will be presented to Minister of Labour Shri Oscar Fernandes. The memorandum also mentions the need to fix domestic workers'' minimum wages and other service conditions, such as a healthy work atmosphere, leave and pension.