Author: Pak L. Huide
Date: July 22, 2017
Human trafficking is a crime that exploits women, children and men for numerous purposes including forced labour and sex. The International Labour Organization estimates that 21 million people are victims of forced labour globally. This estimate also includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. While it is not known how many of these victims were trafficked, the estimate implies that currently, there are millions of trafficking in persons victims in the world.
Every country in the world is affected by human trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit, or destination for victims. Children make up almost a third of all human trafficking victims worldwide, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Global Report on Trafficking in Persons. Additionally, women and girls comprise 71 per cent of human trafficking victims, the report states.
In 2010, the General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, urging Governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to defeat this scourge. The Plan calls for integrating the fight against human trafficking into the UN’s broader programmes in order to boost development and strengthen security worldwide. One of the crucial provisions in the Plan is the establishment of a UN Voluntary Trust Fund for victims of trafficking, especially women and children.
The Trust Fund facilitates effective, on-the-ground assistance and protection to victims of trafficking, through grants to specialized NGOs. In the coming years, it aims to prioritize victims coming from a context of armed conflict and those identified among large refugee and migration flows. It will also focus its assistance to victims trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation, organ removal, forced begging, forced criminality and emerging exploitative purposes (e.g. skin removal, online pornography).
In 2013, the General Assembly held a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan of Action. Member States also adopted resolution A/RES/68/192 and designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.”
In September 2015, the world adopted the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda and embraced goals and targets on trafficking in persons. These goals call for an end to trafficking and violence against children; as well as the need for measures against human trafficking, and they strive for the elimination of all forms of violence against and exploitation of women and girls.
Another important development is the UN Summit for Refugees and Migrants, which produced the groundbreaking New York Declaration. Of the nineteen commitments adopted by countries in the Declaration, three are dedicated to concrete action against the crimes of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
This year the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has chosen ‘act to protect and assist trafficked persons’ as the focus of the World Day. This topic highlights one of the most pressing issues of our time — the large mixed migration movements of refugees and migrants. The theme puts the spotlight on the significant impact of conflict and natural disasters, as well as the resultant, multiple risks of human trafficking that many people face. It addresses the key issue concerning trafficking responses: that most people are never identified as trafficking victims and therefore cannot access most of the assistance or protection provided.
A Family Welfare Committee (FWC) in every district will scrutinise dowry harassment cases before local police can arrest the accused, the Supreme Court said on Thursday, laying down a set of guidelines to curb misuse of the law.
Indian Penal Code’s Section 498A has been criticised for giving “disgruntled women” a legal option to harass their husbands, and Thursday’s orders take forward measures announced by the top court in 2014 when it prohibited automatic arrests.
A bench of justices AK Goel and UU Lalit barred the police from making direct arrest and said the involvement of civil society was necessary “to achieve the laudable object of punishing cruelty at the hands of husbands or his relatives against the wife”.
Quoting the National Crime Records Bureau’s 2012 data, the bench said that a quarter of all arrests were those of women — mothers and sisters of husbands — and while chargesheets were filed at an “exponentially high 93.6%” of cases, only 14.4% ended in convictions. The report projected that out of the 3,72,706 cases pending trial in 2012, as many as 3,17,000 were projected to lead to acquittals.
The court, however, put a rider to its restrictions, saying that they were not valid in offences involving tangible physical injury or death.
“It is a matter of serious concern that large number of cases continues to be filed under Section 498A alleging harassment of married women. To remedy the situation, we are of the view that involvement of civil society in the aid of administration of justice can be one of the steps, apart from the investigating officers and the concerned trial courts being sensitised,” the bench said.
The top court also ordered that trial courts must decide bail applications in such cases on the same day as far as possible. Recovery of disputed dowry items may not by itself be a ground for denial of bail if maintenance or other rights of wife/minor children can otherwise be protected, SC said.
According to the ruling, the District Legal Services Authority (DLSA) will form the committee comprising three members who could be para-legal volunteers, social workers, retired persons, wives of working officers or citizens who may be found suitable and willing.
A dowry harassment complaint to the police or magistrate will be referred to the committee that can interact with the parties personally or through electronic communication. The committee must submit its report to the authority, which refers the complaint to it within a month.
Till the report is received, no arrest should be effected, the court said. After considering the report on its own merit, the police or magistrate will proceed with further action.
SC also directed that only a designated Investigating Officer of the area shall investigate dowry harassment cases. Such designations must be done within a month, the court said. These officers must be trained, which the court held must be completed within four months.
In further directions to lower courts, the SC said that accused should be exempted from appearing in person or be allowed to appear via video conferencing as far as that does not adversely affect the progress of the case.
In cases where accused is residing out of India, impounding of passports or red corner notice should not be a routine, the court said.
In cases where a settlement is reached, it will be open to a district and sessions judge or any other senior judicial officer nominated by him in the district to complete the proceedings including the closing of the criminal case if dispute primarily relates to matrimonial discord. Committee’s functioning may be reviewed once a year, SC added.
In 2014, a separate bench had criticised the law’s misuse and said: “The fact that Section 498-A is a cognisable and non-bailable offence has lent it a dubious place of pride amongst the provisions that are used as weapons rather than shield by disgruntled wives”.
Why i am an atheist?
Main nastik kyun Haan?
By: Shaheed Bhaghat Singh
Presented By: Jaswinder Kaur
Recorded at Disha Recording Studio, Chandigarh. Disha – Harbinger of Social change & Development, is an NGO working to support Person’s with Disability and uphold their Dignity, Honour and Pride with esteem. Disha is Recording Audio Book’s for Student’s and General Book’s for all Visually Impaired. Disha has established a Recording studio at Chandigarh.
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By Shaheed Bhaghat singh
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It further observed the definition of transgender was unscientific and primitive and based on biological attributes.
New Delhi: The Parliamentary Standing Committee on Social Justice And Empowerment has recommended that a transgender should have the option to choose their gender independent of surgery or hormones.
The Transgender Persons (Protection of Rights) Bill, 2016 defines a transgender as someone who is neither wholly female not wholly male, a combination of female or male or neither female nor male and whose sense of gender does not match with the gender assigned to the person at the time of birth.
The committee felt that the proposed definition of transgender in the bill is in stark contrast to global developments, where transgenders have been granted the right to self determine and to seek benefits according to such identity.
“More so, it not only violates the fundamental rights to equality, dignity, autonomy, but also freedom of transgender persons guaranteed under Article 14, 19 and 21 of the constitution,” the committee said.
It further observed the definition of transgender was unscientific and primitive and based on biological attributes.
It said the definition fails to recognise that many persons are born with ambiguous or typical sexual organs, whether external or internal, and identify themselves as male, female or transgender.
The standing committee also recommended a change in Clause 2(c) in bill which defines “inclusive education” for transgenders.
“Inclusive education means a system of education wherein transgender and gender non-conforming students along with other students learn together without the fear of bullying, singling out and other forms of harassment and the system of teaching and learning is suitably adapted to meet the learning needs of such students,” it said.
The committee also recommended that a definition of ‘discrimination’ be included in chapter I of the Bill which must cover a range of violations that transgenders face.
It also recommended that central and state governments and civil society should adopt measures for generating awareness regarding transgenders.
The committee headed by Ramesh Bais, also stated that it would like to assure and remind all the members of the transgender community that “a historic shift is underway, you are not alone in your struggle for the end of violence and discrimination.
“It is a shared struggle. Transgender is not an anomaly. It is a part of the spectrum of people’s realities. While there is no shame in being gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex or even straight – there is a must shame and dishonour in being a homophobe, a transphobe and a bigot.”
The Affluent society
Writer: John Kenneth Galbraith
Presented by: Dharmesh Meena and Kirti Rohilla
Wealth is not being its advantages and the case to the contrary, although it has often been made, has never proved widely persuasive. But, beyond doubt, wealth is the relentless enemy of understanding. The poor man has always a precise view of his problem and its remedy: he hasn’t enough and he needs more. The rich man can assume or imagine a much greater variety of ills and he will be correspondingly less certain of their remedy. Also, until he learns to live with his wealth, he will have a well observed tendency to put it to the wrong purposes or otherwise to make himself foolish.
As with individuals so with nations. And the experience of nations with well being is exceedingly brief. Nearly all, throughout all history, have been very poor. The exception, almost insignificant in the whole span of human existence, has been the last few generations in the comparatively small corner of the world populated by europeans. Here, and especially in the united states, there has been great and quite unprecedented affluence.
Handling Exam Stress
Written by: Gagandeep Kaur
Presented by: Sneha Gulati
It’s exam time and the pressure is back on children. This time is the most stressful period of the year for students, but it is important not to let this stress go out of control. In an exclusive conversation, Dr Gagandeep Kaur, Clinical Psychologist at Unique Psychological Services, tells about how children can best deal with stress, how they can plan their studies well, and what the parents and teachers should do to help students.
To download or play click: handling exam stress audiobook
Written by: Meena Kandaswamy
Pages: 231 pages
How does one tell a story of a 26-year-old intelligent, educated woman being battered by four months of marriage? To start with, Meena Kandaswamy trips the reader by almost drawing a chuckle. The first to play storyteller is the woman’s mother, a figure familiar from lachrymose soaps and painful personal experience. She gets around the socially devastating fact of a divorcee in the family in the tradition of middle-class matriarchs: she makes it about hygiene (when her daughter returns home, “her heels were cracked”, her head was teeming with lice) and herself. “This is how my story of Young Woman as a Runaway Daughter became…the great battle of My Mother versus the Head Lice,” says the narrator of the novel, wryly imagining the fable taking a metaphoric life of its own, being “taught in gender studies programmes”, though it “was a little too dirty and disorienting for white feminists”.
The moment any woman speaks out against the violence and sexual abuse, it does not remain her story. This is lived experience. Why was she out late? What will the relatives say? Did she try hard enough? Is she really as chaste as she looks? Kandaswamy’s narrator is keenly aware that her story — a common one in India, where a majority of women face domestic violence — must be wrested back (“I must write my own story”). At one point in the novel, among her many fears — of being beaten to death, disfigured by the daily rape, and trapped in a police case — is that of turning into Althusser’s wife.
The French Marxist philosopher had strangled his wife and rationalised it as “suicide by proxy”, a kind of “non-consensual consent” — and gotten away with it. “As long as a woman cannot speak, as long as those to whom she speaks do not listen, the violence is unending,” Kandaswamy writes. This novel, based on the author’s personal life, is an account of unspeakable marital violence, but the subtitle signals her declaration of intent. The writer as a young wife is here to claim the Authorised Version, even if the title, When I Hit You, makes her just another object.
Hit he does, the husband, with everything he can get his hands on — from heavily-buckled belts to MacBook charging cords, from the back of the broomstick to ceramic plates and the drain hose of the washing machine. The house weaponised, against a woman. Communism and the Little Red Book used to show her her place. She is slowly isolated and cut off from the world. First goes the Facebook account. Next, she surrenders her email password, and then he yanks off the cord that connects her to the world: her internet connection. Finally, he deletes all her emails. Marriage becomes a course in Communism 101. There are tutorials which explain how a woman writer cannot claim to be postcolonial because she is a “whore” writing in English, and why, when revolution comes, there will no lipstick for “petty-bourgeois bitches” and how a Communist woman is treated equally by comrades in public but can be slapped behind closed doors”.
This novel does not seek to answer — why didn’t she walk out? — and flip the responsibility of explanation on to the victim. It instead demonstrates how toxic masculine entitlement enables violence, how being hit and beaten eats away at self-confidence and esteem of strong, able women, and how the quicksand of family pressure and societal indifference is always ready to swallow women, given one misstep. The husband in the novel is a one-dimensional figure, but also an accurate one — education and ideology only a top dressing on the soil of sexual insecurity and contempt for women.
But this novel, raw and stifling in parts, stands out because it is seeking — through language, art, through narration — to reclaim dignity and shake off victimhood. To the narrator, it is art and the self-reflexivity it brings that gives her distance from her abuse. When she is being smashed against a wall, she imagines how she might write about it. In defiance of his suspicion about her sexual past, she writes love letters to old lovers, and deletes them before her husband returns. “Every line I have written to you is a thought-crime, which does not leave a trail of evidence.”
Her abuse is primarily physical and sexual, but she feels it equally through the skin of her language — through the expletives he hurls at her during rape. “Every part of my body is a word spat out in disgust.” She bemoans that the smattering of Kannada she has picked up in this small town only permits her to be a housewife, while “English makes me a lover, a beloved, a poet. Tamil makes me a word huntress, it makes me a love goddess.” But it is in language that the novel triumphs, where it fights its battles and wins them. Through memory and knowledge, Kandaswamy reclaims language as “a secret place of pleasure”, as a pact between two lovers, and a solace for a solitary woman. “I am the woman sheltered within words,” she writes.
The draft National Policy for Women, 2017 approved by the group of ministers would ensure food, shelter, health and free education for women and children of poor families
Along with maternal health, the focus of other health problems of women including communicable and non-communicable diseases like cancer, cardio vascular disease, HIV/AIDS will be given prioritised attention with appropriate strategies and interventions.