Hoping to combat human trafficking in Goa and aid in the repatriation victims through the use of the internet, an NGO, ARZ ( Anyay Rahit Zindagi) launched a web portal in Panaji on Saturday. The initiative taken by ARZ, is a collaboration with the state department of women and children and the British High Commission, Delhi.
ARZ director Arun Pandey hopes that this website will help government agencies coordinate better among themselves and with NGOs in Goa and other states. “The contact details of the Juvenile Justice Board and Child Welfare Committee in other states are not easily available. So how do these agencies or the superintendent of a home repatriate the child to his/her family? We hope that using this portal will help them,” said Pandey.
Speaking at the launch, women and child secretary V P Rao said, “This web portal could hopefully reduce the instances of failed cases in the courts, owing to the inability of the police and authorities to trace the victims once they are rehabilitated.”
According to Rao, several cases have resulted in acquittal as the victim, once repatriated, couldn’t be traced and hence couldn’t testify in court. “A victim of abuse has to be rehabilitated as early as possible, but cases keep dragging on for years. With this technology, we hope we can trace the rehabilitated victims in time. This will ensure that they depose in court, so that their abusers and perpetrators are punished,” Rao added. Apart from integrating government agencies, NGOs and the criminal justice system, the portal also directly aims to help trafficked victims. “We hope to increase the number of rescues, successful rehabilitation of the victims and increase the prosecution of the traffickers,” said Pandey.