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Officials receive ‘Champions Against Human Trafficking’ awards

On 21st January 2017, IJM commemorated the human trafficking awareness month by celebrating the work of officials who have been champions in the fight against human trafficking. Winners were selected by an independent jury which evaluated over 50 nominations across five categories. There were also two special awards from IJM and its partners.

Awarding the winners and addressing the gathering, Prof. P. J. Kurien, Deputy Chairman of the Rajya Sabha noted, “In India, bonded labour is everywhere but we cannot see it. Bonded labour is nothing but sheer exploitation of the poor, and a violation against human rights. It is nothing but a crime.”

The jury consisted of Mr. P. W. C. Davidar, Chairman and Managing Director, Tamil Nadu Urban Finance and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (TUFIDCO), Dr. M. Priyamvadha, Assistant Professor, University of Madras & General Secretary, Indian Society of Victimology and Mr. R. Vidyasagar, Former Child Protection Specialist, UNICEF. The panel was convened by Dr. P. M. Nair, IPS (Retd.), Chair Professor, Tata Institute of Social Sciences

Government officials, members from civil society organisations, IJM partners, journalists and survivors of bonded labour and commercial sexual exploitation from across the country were present at the ceremony.

Awardees:
“Outstanding Work in Rescuing Victims of Human Trafficking”: Ms. Sarbari Bhattacharya, Officer in Charge, AHTU, Kolkata Lauded for her work by the Kolkata Hight Court, Ms. Sarbari Bhattacharya has rescued over 200 girls from the brothels of Delhi, Kolkata and other parts of the country. She once rescued a 15- year old by tracking down the trafficker, befriending him and then nabbing him. This case prompted the State to focus on trafficking for the first time. Additionally, the government set up the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) in 2011 with Ms. Sarbari at its head.

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