US consulate to campaign against trafficking in India

April 30th, 2008 - 9:45 pm ICT by admin  

Kolkata, April 30 (IANS) The US consulate general office here, in collaboration with a leading NGO Apne Aap Women Worldwide, has launched an information campaign against the problem of human trafficking in India. “The consular section would distribute brochures to visa applicants containing information on the nature of the problem, including contact details for victim assistance programmes in the United States and India,” a statement released by the US Consulate office said Wednesday.

Several posters highlighting the social scourge will be displayed in the consulate’s visa waiting room as a part of the campaign, it said.

According to official statistics available, nearly two million people across the world - mostly women and girls - are trafficked and sold into slavery every year.

In 2007, the US contributed about $79 million to fund 180 anti-trafficking projects across 90 countries.

“India received nearly $8 million (over Rs.300 million) from the US for fighting against human trafficking. Of this total amount, about $600,000 grants were given to several voluntary organisations in West Bengal, Assam, Bihar and Meghalaya,” the statement said.

Apne Aap Women Worldwide began in 1998 as a community-based initiative of women who were forced to enter the flesh trade in Mumbai’s well known red light district Kamathipura.

Over the years, the organisation has grown to become one of the leading anti-trafficking NGOs in the country. It provides legal protection, education and income-generation programmes to over 5,000 sex-workers and their children in Bihar, Delhi, Maharashtra and West Bengal.

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