Hyderabad: City-based NGO working to curb human trafficking, child prostitution

Hyderabad: In an effort to prevent human trafficking at the grassroot level, the city-based NGO Sakina Foundation is working in pan India to curb human trafficking, child prostitution. The NGO is also creating awareness on anti-drug campaign. After the Covid-19 lockdown, the organization rescued over 150 victims from child trafficking and prostitution. According to the NGO, lack of basic education has played a role in the exploitation. The NGO has a project that addresses the root causes of poverty leading to the trafficking of girls for sex and labour by providing education from a holistic perspective to bring them out of poverty and misery and transform their lives. The initiative aims to prevent the offense with the involvement of local NGOs who have better understanding of the issues on ground.The Sakina Foundation is working in over 19 States including Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Assam, Tamil Nadu, Punjab and many more.They rescue children working as bonded labour, domestic help and beggars. Asif Hussain Sohail of Sakina Foundation and permanent invitee at United Nations, said,”The NGO is working for last 10 years on issues like child prostitution, human trafficking, awareness on anti-drug campaign and skill development programme in Naxalite areas. After the lockdown, the NGO has rescued 150 minor girls from child prostitution and human trafficking. With such activities, the Telangana State government also felicitated and awarded the NGO.” He said that the activities were started in the State in 2011 and for the last three years it is active in other 18 states. It has been observed that human trafficking, child prostitution cases increased in the State after lockdown. “There are several stages involved in trafficking. First is identification, where one of the agents identifies a vulnerable person. Then comes the recruitment phase where they talk to the family and make offers like promising well-paying jobs. Then the victim is linked to the traffickers and are later trafficked,” added Asif. He said that the Sakina Foundation aims to prevent trafficking at initial stages.” “Most of the child trafficking cases both boys and girls are found between the age group of 10-15 years. After they were trafficked, they are forced for labour work and girls were forced to prostitute. Around 100 children from Himachal Pradesh, West Bengal, Haryana, Punjab and Jharkhand were rescued who were forcibly worked.” This initiative is done with a standard operating procedure. Firstly, the hidden volunteers along with the local NGO members and police identify the basties and create awareness programmes. They also open up pending missing persons cases and investigate them,get details of school dropouts and keep track of the child if they have gone out of the area to work, how they are doing and are they in touch with some unknown persons and if they find something abnormal they alert the alert police and then rescue the victim. “Several such cases have come across that the volunteer has been beaten up and also threatened for saving the children from trafficking,” he pointed out. There are several NGOs working for one and other and to prevent child trafficking and prostitution in their respective areas.” The organisation empowers underprivileged children and youth through education and skills training. Socio-economic reintegration of the trafficked victims is also important for help. To help the victims of sex trafficking, the organisation has set up rehabilitation centres and also helps in providing succor and will also set up a small business to the victims or the victim’s families for survival.