With Goa emerging as a major sex destination and girls being trafficked from as many as 25 states, besides the neighbouring countries of Nepal and Bangladesh, NGO ARZ observed World Day Against Trafficking by launching a programme to educate the youth to combat trafficking.
The last study conducted by ARZ between 2014-19, showed that around seven per cent of the girls who were rescued from the sex trade were residents of Goa. “Goa is one of the major sex destinations today. Girls from as many as 25 Indian states were brought to Goa as part of sex trafficking. Besides, we have come across girls brought from Nepal and Bangladesh,” Pandey said.
At a programme organised by ARZ at the Ravindra Bhavan, Margao on Monday to observe World Day Against Trafficking in collaboration with the anti-trafficking wing of the Goa police, South Goa, Pandey said it’s time to reach out to the youth and create awareness amongst them so that they protect themselves and also protect their peers from trafficking.
“Today, we have launched the programme to educate the youth to combat sex trafficking in collaboration with the Goa police. In the next one year, our initiative will be to reach out to the children and youth in the age group of 15-19 years and educate them about sex trafficking so that they can protect themselves,” he added.
On whether there’s human trafficking also amongst males and transgender in the state, Pandey said the organisers have invited members of the transgender community to share their situation in view of reports of commercial sexual exploitation.
“Our whole focus will be on the youth in the state, be it in slums or colleges, by educating them about the commercial sexual exploitation of the youth. Digitalisation has further made the youth vulnerable to sex trafficking. Post-COVID, youth have become highly vulnerable to sex trafficking. The task before us is to educate the youth on how to prevent trafficking and protect themselves and also reach out to their peers to protect themselves. We cannot have Goa safe unless our youth are safe as they are the future,” he said.
Chairperson of Goa Commission for Women, Ranjita Pai, besides PI Rupa Naik spoke at the programme, as they extended their support to the educative programme launched to combat trafficking.
Students of various colleges and post-graduate colleges participated in the programme to convey the message against trafficking.