Patna: The U.S. Consulate General – Kolkata and NGO Shakti Vahini will host the sixth annual anti-Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Conclave in Patna from May 12-13, 2017. The conclave will be inaugurated on March 12th by U.S. Consul General Craig Hall, Bihar State Minister for Labor Vijay Prakash and Bihar State Minister for Women and Child Development Manju Verma. With an overarching theme of “Working Together to Combat Human Trafficking,” this conclave will bring together key stakeholders at the local, regional, national and international levels from India, Bangladesh, and the United States to share best practices and develop an agenda to combat this form of modern day slavery.
According to U.S. Consul General Craig Hall, “India and the U.S. are partners in this fight. These conclaves are held together by a common underlying thread: to build a regional and cross-border network of champions against human trafficking.”
NGO Shakti Vahini President Ravi Kant noted, “This sixth international conclave will focus on establishing partnerships and developing intervention tools to prevent the exploitation of women and children as well as to protect the victims of human trafficking, with a special focus on child labor. Our goal is to bring together government, the business community, law enforcement agencies, civil society organizations, media and the legal establishment to tackle this growing menace.”
The first two TIP conclaves were held in Kolkata in 2012, followed by the third international conclave in Guwahati in 2013, the fourth in Ranchi in 2015 and the last one in Siliguri in 2016. These initiatives have served to highlight our continued collaborative efforts with regional anti-trafficking officials and organizations with the goal of eliminating trafficking in persons world-wide. Feedbacks from participants have indicated that the conclaves have led to strengthening the networks between individuals and organizations. The sixth conclave will continue to build on strengthening stakeholder partnerships and co-operation in the Bihar-Jharkhand region.
The conclave will also witness the culmination of a one-and-half-month-long anti-TIP awareness caravan journey which is presently being undertaken across West Bengal, Jharkhand, and Bihar as well as the performative storytelling repertory which has proved to be a major engagement and advocacy tool in our gender programs.
The TIP conclaves underscore the commitment of the U.S. Consulate General in Kolkata to serve as a key partner with regional and cross-border anti-trafficking organizations who are working to eliminate human trafficking.