End Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery: Priority Mission Focus of All India Council of Christian Women

A Nationaphotol Consultation on Ecumenical Advocacy to End Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery was organized  by All India Council of  Christian Women ( AICCW)  in Partnership with  Lutheran World Service India Trust on   10th January 2016 in Kolkata. 25 leaders from different faith based organizations and Churches working to end Human Trafficking or justice and peace issues participated in this consultation . Strengthening networking, ecumenical advocacy, capacity building, ending impunity, supporting survivors and their children, alleviating poverty, and intercepting/ending Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery are  priority foci of   AlCCW.

A part of this consultation involved dialogue with women, men and youth local leaders from adopted communities of Lutheran World Service India Trust who are mainly migrant, domestic workers and daily wage laborers. “Our aim was not only just to strategize to end human trafficking but also to hear the voices of people on the periphery who are more vulnerable and  at risk. It was important for us to hear from them their stories  challenges and vulnerability and how they combat and intercept human trafficking. Our aim was to link Leaders from faith based organizations and church leaders and women’s fellowships to support, rehabilitate and heal survivors also” states Ms Moumita Biswas, Executive Secretary of AICCW.

The Month of January is designated as Human Trafficking Awareness Month.Designating a   “Hum
12657861_1652747128309380_2559944412410042493_oan Trafficking Awareness Month” thus not only ensures that the issue of human trafficking is visible on the public radar screen, but more importantly mobilizes us to take steps to effect sustainable change in the lives of trafficked individuals across the world. Leaders of AICCW were involved in various ways to engage in ecumenical advocacy to end Human Trafficking and Sexual Slavery.
Perils of Migration and Human Trafficking: During this consultation there was discussion regarding “Perils of Migration and Human Trafficking”. Monijiri Bayapari, Coordinator of Lutheran World Service India Trust shared about the plight of  indigenous people and women in stone quarries in Birbhum district in West Bengal and tea gardens in Assam  who are at high risk of being trafficked.   “We have so far focused on alternative livelihood and alleviating poverty. Now this consultation and networking meeting helps us to understand the nexus between sustainable development and eradicating poverty and human trafficking”. LWSIT runs a project for children of survivors and vulnerable women.

dancing childrenPlight of Rohingyas Trafficked to join ISIS:  In South Asian and Asian context one cannot overlook the plight of the Rohingyas who are persecuted and fleeing from Myanmar. Moumita Biswas Executive Secretary reported that the “ world has turned its attention on plights of refugees in Syria; even the Rohinghyas also like refugees from Syria need support. In Delhi, Police Sources reported fake Indian passports were used to traffic hundreds of Rohingya Muslims to Saudi Arabia to join the terror group Islamic State. Delhi Police came across this information when they busted a human trafficking racket in Delhi and arrested five operatives. Addressing issues of trafficking today calls for justice and care and concern for refugees and migrating communities. Myanmar’s 1.1 million Rohingyas already live in apartheid-like conditions in western Rakhine and are facing persecution and fleeing to different parts of world

No One Can Do Everything, But Every One Can Do Something

Smita Singh, from Church of North India  and Director of Mahima Home which  rescued more than 171 minors, shared  how she   developed  and implemented her  vision for establishing a “holistic aftercare home” that was dramatically different from existing government institutions that were like “processing warehouses” for rescued girls. Smita gave a clarion call stating “Human trafficking is not something which is happening in your backyard . No one can do everything but everyone can do something to intercept and end human trafficking” states Smita . Smita after attending a consultation organized by World Council of Churches in Bangkok has started promoting Thursdays in Black Campaign (A world free of rape, sexual and gender based violence.”

1914586_10208738651770148_8535815073528119826_n (2)Spiritual Formation in Gender Justice to work towards ending Human Trafficking: Sohail Ahmed a journalist and coordinator from Aman Foundation shared “It is  time for us to engage in spiritual formation of Imams and Religious Heads. We should include Awareness Training in the curriculum of Madrasas and teach  children of our own community regarding the heinous crime of human trafficking and its dynamics.”Representatives from International Justice Mission, Green Tara Initiative,  National Missionary Society, Educational Institutions, India Peace Center and Church leaders  also participated in this consultation.

Resource Material for Spiritual Formation to Intercept and End Human Trafficking: AICCW in its pilgrimage to end Human Trafficking is engaged in a process of working towards producing a Resource Material cum Bible Study book on  ENDING HUMAN TRAFFICKING and SEXUAL SLAVERY. Resource material in the form of a Cartoon and Comic Book  will also be produced for children. We invite ecumenical partners for their support and solidarity with AICCW to carry on this project.
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