National Commission for Women inks MoU with Railway Protection Force to combat human trafficking

BY | Wednesday, 20 March, 2024

In a significant step towards combating human trafficking, the National Commission for Women (NCW) on March 19 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Railway Protection Force (RPF). Through this collaborative effort, both organizations pledged to provide training and sensitize RPF officials to effectively address the problems of women trafficking within the Indian Railway network, informed the Press Information Bureau.

The initiative comes as a response to the alarming statistics revealing that 70 percent of trafficked victims are women, highlighting the urgent need for concerted action to protect the most vulnerable in society. NCW, which established an Anti-Human Trafficking Cell on April 2, 2022, has already been working with the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) to combat the trafficking of women.

The National Commission for Women and the Railway Protection Force came together to announce a landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) aimed at strengthening efforts to combat human trafficking across India. The MOU was signed by NCW Joint Secretary A Asholi Chalai and RPF Inspector General Sarvapriya Mayank. It underscores the commitment of both organizations to tackle the grave issue of human trafficking, especially within the extensive network of Indian Railways.

“Women and young girls are particularly vulnerable to trafficking”, stated Rekha Sharma, Chairperson of NCW, adding, “The vast railway network of Indian Railway, spanning over 65,000 kilometers and 7,500 stations, unfortunately, serves as a conduit for traffickers. RPF personnel stationed at railway stations play a pivotal role in preventing human trafficking and can act as the eyes and ears of the commission in addressing crimes against women”.

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The key objectives of the MOU encompass collaborative efforts to prevent human trafficking and rescue of trafficked women. This involves conducting sensitization workshops and training sessions for RPF personnel to enhance their awareness and prompt response to human trafficking incidents. Additionally, awareness campaigns will be launched targeting frontline railway staff and the general public to educate them about the signs of human trafficking and how to report such cases effectively.

Under the MoU, RPF personnel will receive ongoing sensitization and training, empowering them to remain alert and vigilant in identifying and reporting suspicious activities. This collaboration aims to enhance the capabilities of RPF personnel, enabling them to serve as an additional layer of defence against human trafficking.

Highlighting the ongoing effort of RPF aimed at preventing trafficking of women and girls through railways Manoj Yadava Director General (RPF) expressed hope that this effort will boost the capacity of RPF to combat crime against women.

This partnership between NCW and RPF signifies a significant step forward in the collective efforts to combat human trafficking and protect vulnerable women across India’s railway network.

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