Press Release Detail

Kolkata Marathon : Survivors of human trafficking run to raise their issues

They called for an early passage of the anti-trafficking bill which they believe will help combat human trafficking

KOLKATA, 16 DECEMBER 2018: As hundreds of athletes and sports enthusiasts took to the street to run the Tata Steel Kolkata Half Marathon here today, a group of survivors of human trafficking ran with them to raise the issue of human trafficking and called for the passage of the Trafficking of Persons Bill 2018 in the Rajya Sabha.

Nearly 50 trafficking survivors and activists associated with several grassroots and community based organisations working on the issue in West Bengal participated in the “Ananda Run” category of the marathon with an objective to tell the world that human trafficking is a very serious issue not only in the state but across the country, and a stronger and comprehensive legislation to combat this crime is urgently required.

“We want the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 which is pending its passage in the Rajya Sabha to become a law since it not just recommends stringent punishment for traffickers, but also provides for time-bound trials, repatriation and rehabilitation of the victims,” the survivors said.

The Bill was passed in the Lok Sabha during the Monsoon Session of Parliament in July. It now waits to be passed in the Upper House. If passed, it will be India's first comprehensive law that would address all forms of trafficking, be it for forced labour, slavery or servitude, or commercial sexual exploitation, and will have the central government monitor interstate and transnational investigation of cases.

The survivors, who are associated with an anti-trafficking project called Tafteesh, also raised several other issues impacting their lives such as proper rehabilitation services, legal services for victim compensation, protection from traffickers, health services for recovery, among others.

“The marathon was an ideal platform for the survivors and activists to raise awareness about serious issues such as human trafficking and let their voices heard, said Sambhu Nanda from the Partners for Anti-Trafficking who also ran with the survivors in the marathon.


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Sambhu Nanda,