Empowering Women Safety: Addressing Human Trafficking – Insights from the 5th Asian Anti Trafficking Forum

On August 1, 2023, Smt. Shikha Goel, IPS,Additional Director General of Police (ADGP) at the Women Safety Wing, addressed the 5th Asian Anti Trafficking Forum. This event served as a platform for experts and stakeholders to engage in discussions regarding the critical issue of human trafficking, and Ms. Shikha Goel’s participation offered a valuable perspective to the ongoing discourse.

One remarkable achievement that Smt. Shikha Goel highlighted during her address was the commendable progress in tracing missing persons in Telangana state. According to her, the percentage of traced missing persons in the state had surged to an impressive 90% in the year 2022. This statistic alone underscores the dedication and effectiveness of the initiatives undertaken by the Women Safety Wing.

The Women Safety Wing’s guiding principle, encapsulated in the mantra “Rescue, Rehabilitation & Reintegration,” echoes its unwavering commitment to the well-being and empowerment of those affected by human trafficking. Smt. Shikha Goel emphasized that this mantra serves as a cornerstone for the Wing’s actions and policies, focusing not only on rescuing victims but also providing them with the necessary support and tools to reintegrate into society.

During her address, Smt. Shikha Goel shed light on the crucial role that the Women Safety Wing plays as the nodal agency for all Anti Human Trafficking activities within the Telangana Police. With a network of 31 Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) in place, the Wing conducts extensive operations like Operation Smile and Operation Muskaan in collaboration with various governmental agencies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). These efforts have resulted in the remarkable recovery of 55,356 children between the years 2015 and 2023, a testament to the tangible impact of the collaborative approach.

Partnerships have proven to be a cornerstone of the Women Safety Wing’s efforts. Smt. Shikha Goel specifically acknowledged the indispensable contribution of organizations like My Choices Foundation, which has played a pivotal role in both Anti Trafficking and Domestic Violence initiatives. This collaborative approach exemplifies the Wing’s commitment to addressing these complex challenges with a united front.

As Smt. Shikha Goel concluded her address at the 5th Asian Anti Trafficking Forum, her words resonated deeply with the audience. She expressed a profound hope that, with sustained efforts and unwavering commitment, this generation could indeed be the one to bring an end to the scourge of human trafficking. The Women Safety Wing’s tireless work, under the guidance of individuals like Smt. Shikha Goel, continues to inspire hope and drive change in the battle against one of the gravest violations of human rights.