Victims of trafficking will soon be eligible for seed money if they want to become entrepreneurs in Delhi, a policy drafted by the Delhi government states.
The draft ‘policy on rehabilitation and combating trafficking of women and children’ has proposed a seed funding of Rs 30,000 and assistance in getting the victim a loan in case they want to start a business. It also has sought to review the licensing mechanism of massage parlours, bars and beauty parlours in the city, so that they are more inclusive to accommodate such victims.
On Tuesday, Delhi government extended the deadline for public and other stakeholders to send their comments on the policy by another 15 days.
The policy offers a stipend of ₹3,000 per month to every victim for a year after their rescue and also a one-time deposit of ₹20,000. To disperse the money, it has sought to create a non-lapsable ‘rehabilitation fund’ with an annual grant from the government, while volunteer contribution would also be allowed.
Experts working in the field, however, said that the proposed policy lacked a budgetary allocation from the government in order to execute various actions it mandates. “Where will the money to execute works like setting up counselling centres in high-risk zones or to provide education to victims and children of victims come from? The government needs to make some budgetary allocation for that,” said Ravi Kant, co-founder of Shakti Vahini, an NGO that works towards trafficking victims.
Once cleared, the revenue department will have to set up a committee in every district and their activities will be monitored
a ‘state advisory committee’, headed by chief secretary. The district committees will have a lot on their plate as they will have to set up community vigilant groups in every block and anti-trafficking squad in each district .
The policy also mandates setting up of ‘night courts’ to ensure speedy justice to victims.
Child rights activist and former chairperson of the child welfare committee, Raj Mangal called the policy “very lopsided”. “The entire policy has neglected other forms of trafficking, which
includes marriages, child labour, bonded labour and so on.The policy only focuses on victims of sexual exploitation,” he said.
Ravi Kant and Raj Mangal, both said that the Delhi government needs to consult with the centre which is also going to come up with an anti-trafficking law in the upcoming Monsoon session of the Parliament. “The policy includes sex workers as victims of trafficking. You cannot call them “workers” and “victims” at the same time. Many join the work voluntarily too,” Kant said