Disrupting Traffick? Assessing the Impact of Anti-trafficking Initiatives

Time TBA
UChicago Center in Delhi

May 17

Efforts to intervene into situations of egregious exploitation through direct rescue play an important role in anti-trafficking programmes across the globe. In some instances, rescue is legally required whether one has consented to work in that sector or not. India’s Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act (ITPA) has targeted cisgender women who sell sexual services for rescue since the early days of independence, regardless of whether they work voluntarily or under direct force. Recently Parliament considered a new anti-trafficking bill that would expand this rescue mandate beyond the sale of sexual services to other situations as well. While on its face a directive to rescue victims of trafficking is clearly laudable, research suggests that forced rescue and detention in specific should both be closely examined and reconsidered as solutions to the severe problems of human trafficking. Disrupting Traffick? provides a forum for researchers, policy makers, heads of protection homes, human rights experts, activists, and those who have experienced rescue and rehabilitation interventions to share with each other their perspectives on the present use of the ITPA and Sec 370 and 370A and together outline a way forward.

The primary objective of the Disrupting Traffick? Conference is to bridge divides between various stakeholders in the present system of rescue and rehabilitation by:
• Discussing available research on impacts of the raid-rescue-rehabilitate model drawn from across India
• Listening to the first-hand experiences of women who have undergone rescue and rehabilitation
• Hearing from NGO and shelter heads who are tasked with implementing anti-trafficking laws regarding the specific challenges they face
• Evaluating viable policy alternatives within the framework of existing legal code
Besides releasing new research findings, the Disrupting Traffick? Conference will be an opportunity to listen to diverse experiences, to reflect, and to come together to determine the best path toward achieving real change.

This event is by invitation only.