Sattaru Umapathi, an anti-human trafficking officer of Crime Investigation Department in Andhra Pradesh, has been honoured by the US in recognition of him leading numerous interstate and intrastate rescue operations across India.
"Officer Umapathi has played a key role in rescuing victims and arresting traffickers; he has contributed to multiple convictions that have led to sentences ranging from four to 14 years' imprisonment," said a State Department blog post.
"He also forged partnerships with NGOs across the country and implemented UNODC anti-trafficking protocols in his state police department," said the State Department blog yesterday, which has started highlighting the efforts of individuals from across the globe in the run up to the release of the annual Trafficking in Persons Report on June 14.
Umapathi was also mentioned on the State Department Twitter yesterday.
"Officer Umapathi has changed the mindset of the state's law enforcement community by teaching officials to stop treating trafficking victims as criminals," the blog said.
He has organised judicial conferences and addressed a colloquium in New Delhi that helped educate the judiciary about the need to treat victims with empathy.
"Officer Umapathi argued for application of the more stringent sections of Indian law in trafficking cases, such as laws related to minors in prostitution, import of foreign girls, and unlawful compulsory labor," it said.
"He successfully implemented a rescue protocol that included the payment of $220 as interim relief for trafficking victims. Thanks to Officer Umapathi's dedicated efforts, Andhra Pradesh is becoming a model for other Indian states fighting human trafficking," the State Department blog post said.