Conference on the impact of anti-trafficking in India to be held in Delhi by the University of Chicago from May 17, 2019

The University of Chicago is organising a two-day conference on the impact of anti-trafficking initiatives in India at its Centre in New Delhi from May 17-18, 2019.

Conference on the impact of anti-trafficking in India to be held in Delhi by the University of Chicago from May 17, 2019

According to a statement issued by the University of Chicago Centre in New Delhi, the conference is aiming at providing a platform for researchers, policy makers, heads of protection homes, human rights experts, activists and those who have experienced rescue and rehabilitation interventions to share with each other their perspectives on the present use of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) and Sec 370 and 370A and together outline a way forward.

Dr. John Schneider

Dr. John Schneider, Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago and sponsor of the event, said: “The University of Chicago is pleased to host the Disrupting Traffic? conference. The Centre has been an intellectual destination for collaboration with Indian universities, research institutes, and cultural organisations and a place to explore ideas across institutions and disciplines. The conference is in line with that tradition and will serve as a focal point for engaging relevant stakeholders of anti-trafficking debate in India to come up with solutions.”

Bridging the Divides

Recently, the Indian Parliament considered a new anti-trafficking bill that would expand the rescue mandate beyond the sale of sexual services to other situations as well. The primary objective of the Disrupting Traffic Conference is to bridge divides between various stakeholders in the present system of rescue and rehabilitation by discussing available research on impacts of the raid-rescue-rehabilitate model drawn from across India. Women who have undergone rescue and rehabilitation will share their first-hand experiences of the interventions and NGO and shelter heads who are tasked with implementing anti-trafficking laws will share the challenges they face regarding the same. The participants will also evaluate viable policy alternatives within the framework of existing legal code.

Devi, a member of the National Sex Workers Network said, “While the effort to rescue victims of trafficking through government intervention is clearly laudable. Research suggests that forced rescue and detention is detrimental to many sex workers’ well-being. Therefore, I am happy that we are given an opportunity through this conference to closely examine the current evidence and to reconsider solutions to the severe problems of human trafficking.”

The University of Chicago Centre in Delhi provides a base for research, teaching and dialogue among scholars from the University, across India and around the world. It builds on a rich history of intellectual collaboration between Chicago and India. The Centre is designed to serve scholars at all levels, and across all disciplines. It serves as a working space for Chicago faculty and students, a gathering place for alumni, and a nucleus for rekindling old relationships and forging of new ones. Programming at the centre is focused on three core areas: Science, Energy, Medicine, and Public Health; Business, Economics, and Policy; and Culture, Society, Law, and the Arts. Through academic and public programmes, and outreach and collaboration, scholars use the Centre to address scientific, political, social and cultural issues that are important to India and the world.