Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Friday called for a concrete action plan to prevent and detect cases of human trafficking. 

Inaugurating the convention on Inter-State Coordination on anti-trafficking of girls and women organised by the Odisha State Commission for Women, the chief minister hoped that the two-day convention formulates a plan of action.

Chairperson, National Commission of Women, Lalitha Kumar Mangalam also addressed the inaugural function. 

Trafficking of girls and women is a serious issue of national and international importance. Lack of education, poverty, unemployment is catalytic factors for such trafficking. Unscrupulous elements take advantage of poor socio-economic condition and indulge in organised trafficking of girls and women for variety of purposes, including domestic employment, sex trade and forced marriage, observed the CM.

Patnaik highlighted some of the steps taken by his government like setting up of Integrated AntiHuman Trafficking Units in all the districts. 

District level functionaries have been sensitized to identify organised traffickers and initiate stringent legal action against them, he claimed. 

State Police have taken proactive steps to rescue trafficked children, out of them, many are girls. 

During January 2015, “Operation Smile” was launched by State Police which resulted in rescue of 335 children from different parts of the state. 

In July, 2015, State Police launched “Operation Muskan” in which 87 children were rescued from 10 outside states by joint teams of Police and Women & Child Development Department. 

Many of the rescued children who are reported as missing, in fact, were trafficked, said the CM. 

Education and empowerment are the two powerful weapons through which we can successfully fight atrocities against women, he said. 

Among others, Women and Child Development Minister, Usha Devi, Chairperson of Odisha State Commission for Women Dr Lopamudra Buxipatra, Home Principal Secretary Asit Tripathy and Secretary Women and Child Development, Visal Dev shared their views during the convention.