Hyderabad: A two-day regional consultation on ‘Combating Human Trafficking’ concluded Saturday with the signing of a declaration by representatives of six southern states.
The consultation was hosted by the Telangana government in partnership with the US government at Taj Deccan, where delegates of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu and Telangana signed the ‘Hyderabad Declaration’.
The two-day event brought together 36 functionaries from across the six states, including ministers and representatives of departments concerned.
The event comprised panel discussions and presentations from senior police officials, members of the judiciary, survivor advocates, prosecutors and cybercrime professionals. Many survivors also shared their plight, emphasising delayed justice by the system.
Frankie Sturm, assistant public affairs officer at the US Consulate General, Hyderabad, told Deccan Chronicle that signing the declaration was an important step. “Anything that we can do to facilitate conversations that allow the states to work together, we’re happy to see that happen and be a part of it,” he said.
The core objectives of the event were to strengthen interstate cooperation and facilitate the setting up of focal points for grassroots workers to provide aid and support to victims.
D. Divya, special secretary, women and child welfare department, Telangana government said, “What usually happens is that we, public representatives or officers, tend to be in a cocoon of my department, my district, my state... There can be best practices in other states that can be replicated.”
Two NGOs, Prajwala and Shakti Vahini, also collaborated to discuss ways to combat trafficking.
Rishi Kant, a co-founder of Shakti Vahini, expressed happiness over the developments at the event. The founder of Prajwala, Sunitha Krishnan, who is a Padma Shri awardee, stressed cooperation and interstate dialogue to curb human trafficking.