Terming human trafficking as a "cold" and "cruel" fact, Home Minister, P Chidambaram said there was a need to sensitise people dealing with the crime, including the police and the judiciary. "This is a fact...it (human trafficking) is a cold,
hard, cruel and painful fact and a very large number of people especially women are trafficked every year. In any crime of trafficking, there is a criminal and there is a victim but our system tends to treat both more or less on par," he said.
Chidambaram was speaking while inaugurating a certificate course on anti-human trafficking -- a collaboration between the Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU) and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)-- on the occasion of World Human Rights day on Friday. "Often we find that the victim's trauma does not end with the...inevestigation and prosecution of the case. We often find that the criminal is arrested and the victim (who) is trafficked are both treated as criminals," he said while addressing a group of trainee CRPF officers, policemen and IGNOU students. "It is important that we sensitise all persons concerned with the crime begining from the policeman at the
police station to the judge who delivers the verdict," he said.
He rued that the job of tackling the problem is not "sought after" or desired by many. "Even within the police set up, there are jobs that are sought after and there are jobs that are shunned," he said, expresing confidence that all states would agree to post officers who mandatorily undertake such a course before being appointed in anti-human trafficking units. "They (enforcement officials and other stakeholders) must adopt a humane, intelligent, modern human rights sensitive approach to the problem. It is not going to be easy." "We are a large country with a large police force...it will not be easy to sensitise and educate them on adopting a human rights approach to the problem of trafficking. That is why we welcome this initiative (the new course by IGNOU and MHA)," he said. He also mentioned that the government is planning to establish 330 anti-trafficking units in the next three years.
The Home Minister said he does not think that the problem of trafficking has been contained. "I am not persuaded that the crime has been controlled or it has been contained. It simply shows that in recent years perhaps the attention of the police forces has been turned to
other crimes and, therefore, the detection, registration and prosecution of trafficking related crimes has perhaps declined," he said.