by BIS correspondent
MATUNGA– MUMBAI, DECEMBER 12, 2013: A session on Human Trafficking in India organised by Don Bosco Youth Services in preparation for World Human Rights Day (10th December), was attended by around 30 youth from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on December 9. The event was organised by the socio-political commission of the Salesian Youth Movement in Mumbai, which has already been sending out Human Rights articles through social networks on a daily basis in December.
The socio-political coordinators Marina D'Costa and Alma Odil began the session by introducing the idea of human rights, and presenting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Divya David, a research student at TISS Mumbai and SYM member, presented the grim reality of Human Trade for sexual slavery, bonded labour, domestic work, beggary, and trafficking of human organs. Through a presentation interspersed with video clips of situations in India, she uncovered the misery and abuse that vulnerable women and children suffer, and made the participants aware of the alarming nexus between the traffickers who operate in poverty-stricken regions, the crime bosses, politicians, police and government authorities.
Some of the youth expressed shock at the horrifying reality of trade in persons, the extent to which it goes on, and the absolute helplessness of the victims. Divya helped the participants realise that there is still hope for change through people's initiatives. These include spreading awareness about human rights and the menace of human trafficking, identifying and protecting vulnerable groups and persons in our neighbourhoods, fighting against discrimination and stigmatisation of victims, and reaching out to victims by joining hands with those who work for their rehabilitation and social reinsertion.
Fr. Cleophas concluded the evening with a reflection on human rights in the context of Gospel values, the need to encourage change in attitudes that underlie the discrimination, violence and abuse of vulnerable persons, and the Christian motivation for practising compassion and service of the underprivileged and the oppressed.