Lucknow (India): Officials from the Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) and the police concurred on the need to adopt a victim-centred approach to counter cross-border trafficking in persons, at a two-day training convened by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in Lucknow this week.
Held in collaboration with the SSB — the central paramilitary force tasked with guarding India-Nepal border — the training aimed at building the capacities of law enforcement officials and providing specialized knowledge on issues pertaining to the rescue and protection of trafficking victims.
Led by UNODC experts, the consultation was attended by 45 officials of various ranks from SSB and the police, as well as civil society organizations with experience of working in border areas.
Officials were sensitized on the Standard Operating Procedures developed by UNODC for first responders to counter cross-border trafficking in persons. During the training, participants shared their experiences and challenges in addressing trafficking-related cases at the India-Nepal Border. Highlighting the need for legal restoration and protection of victims, participants extended support to positive efforts made by UNODC to provide intensive training and expertise to first responders. “Strengthening multi-stakeholder responses for prevention and protection of human trafficking at the district level is an imperative,” participants said.
SSB Inspector General Mr Saurabh Tripathiwelcomed the collaboration between UNODC and law enforcement agencies, and said, “Such training do help officials gain knowledge and skills. We should use this knowledge to enhance our operations in detecting and preventing human trafficking cases.”
The need to create mechanisms for information sharing and foster multi-stakeholder coordination was highlighted as a critical step to strengthen responses to enable effective investigations.
This activity was held in the framework of the UNODC project on “Strengthening the implementation of a comprehensive response to trafficking in persons in India and Sri Lanka”, implemented as part of the UNODC Global Programme against Trafficking in Persons, jointly with the UNODC Regional Office for South Asia and with the financial support of the United Kingdom.
Aimed at strengthening responses to tackling trafficking in persons as evidenced by better identification of victims and initiation of investigations, this project also contributes to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and in particular SDG 16 on Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.