“Human trafficking, especially trafficking in children, is a big threat for society and the Maharashtra government has taken serious steps to deal with the issue,” said chief minister Devendra Fadnavis on Thursday.
“This is a big menace and the state has set up cells in vulnerable districts to curb child trafficking. The result will be a drastic fall in child trafficking cases,” he said.
The CM was speaking at the inauguration of a two-day international conference on trafficking of women.
“The state government has constituted special cells in 12 vulnerable districts and set up special courts for speedy trial of trafficking cases. The conviction rate in such cases is 50 per cent (in Maharashtra), which is very good compared to other states in the country,” he said.
Fadnavis, who also holds the home portfolio, hailed the efforts of the police in rescuing children from the clutches of traffickers and informed that 10,000 children had been freed by the police under a special initiative titled “Operation Muskan”. He appealed to the international community to come forward and forge an alliance to curb trafficking of women, which had cross-border implications.
Over 300 delegates from 20 countries are attending the ongoing conference. Addressing them, Fadnavis said, “I would like to assure all of you that whatever the outcome of this conference, whatever the strategy you devise, we will be a part of it and implement it.”
The conference has been organised by the Maharashtra State Commission for Women (MSCW), in collaboration with NGO, International Justice Mission (India Chapter). During the meet, speakers will discuss and deliberate on various aspects of human trafficking and strategies to prevent and combat it.