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21 May 2017

States meet on red-light rescue

TT, Calcutta, May 20: The governments of Bengal and Maharashtra have discussed ways to rescue girls from red-light areas in Maharashtra and bring them back to their homes in Bengal and Bangladesh, respectively.
The firstinter-state convergence meeting on tackling child trafficking was held on May 16 in Calcutta.
The meeting was attended by members of the Maharashtra and Bengal commissions for the protection of child rights and was supported by the NGO International Justice Mission (IJM).
The meeting discussed developing protocols on the repatriation of Bengali-speaking women and children rescued from red-light areas in Maharashtra to Bangladesh and also bringing back victims to Bengal.
A large number of women from Bengal and Bangladesh are trafficked to Maharashtra for prostitution, it was noted at the session.
"The trafficked women are first taken to red-light areas in Pune," said Ananya Chakraborti, the chairperson of the West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights who presided over the meeting. Several women are trafficked to Mumbai too.
But most of the Bengali-speaking survivors, including children, from Bangladesh are sent to Bengal instead of their country.
"When they are rescued, it is often not clear where they are from - Bengal or Bangladesh," Chakraborti said.
The governments of Bengal and Maharashtra have decided to make meetings between the anti-trafficking task forces of the two states more frequent.
A.N. Tripathi, the secretary of the Maharashtra State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, described the meeting as "just the beginning, and we hope that it will build into a legacy".

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