NEW DELHI: President Ram Nath Kovind on Thursday met survivors of human trafficking on the occasion of International Women's Day and said it was a crime against humanity and the society must unite for its eradication.
People should also be encouraged to urge the survivors of human trafficking into the mainstream of society and help them overcome their problems, Kovind said after meeting the survivors at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here.
"We need to create an appropriate eco-system for the survivors," he said.
"We are in that period of communication revolution in which social evils are discussed openly. People are discussing the social evils among themselves which is eventually leading to solutions of these problems," the president said.
But some problems were still not being discussed much and human trafficking was one of them, he said.
"It is a curse not only for the country but for the whole humanity," Kovind said, although human trafficking adversely affects both boys and girls but its impact is more frightening on minor girls.
It becomes really difficult for the girls to come out from the grasp of this social evil, he said.
The human traffickers especially target weaker sections who do not have resources to fight them, he said.
It may appear that only an individual or just a family was getting affected by human trafficking but in reality it affects everyone directly or indirectly, the president said.
There has been an increase of over 39 per cent in human trafficking in the last three years and more than four crore people have been affected by it around the globe, he said.
"But the irony is there is lack of awareness about human trafficking," he said, adding there was a need to give attention to this social evil.
"In such circumstances, I am happy to learn that the Union Cabinet has approved the trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in which there is a provision for a jail term of up to 10 years for a person convicted for human trafficking," Kovind said.
Under the bill, it was provisioned to provide relief to victims within 60 days and establishing special courts at district level to handle human trafficking cases, he said.
A special fund will also be developed under this bill for running welfare programmes for the victims, Kovind said.
He exuded confidence that passing of this Bill will strengthen people and organisations working against human trafficking.
The president hailed NGO 'Justice and Care', which has rehabilitated more than 4,500 human trafficking victims in the last 10 years, for its fight against this social evil.
He said four survivors of human trafficking, who have pledged to fight the social evil, may also be called as "champions of change" and all should work to increase the number of such champions.
He said many schemes of the Centre like Skill India, Start-up India, Stand-up India and Mudra would be helpful in rehabilitation and providing employment to the victims.
The survivors of human trafficking will be able to survive well only when an appropriate eco-system was developed for them, the president added.