India, Myanmar to jointly tackle human trafficking

India and Myanmar, employing a recent preliminary agreement, have joined hands to fight cross border human trafficking

November 27, 2019

Both countries will create a confidential database of traffickers and victims for sharing among select security points in both India and Myanmar

A joint Task Force is also expected to be set up in the interest of the detection and prevention of human trafficking between the two nations

The agreement will facilitate the creation of Standard Operating Procedures to aid the rescue, repatriation, recovery and reintegration of victims

Both nations will look to streamline border control and immigration in co-operation with several ministries and organizations on both sides

Bilateral relations between India and Myanmar have been further strengthened through the Union Cabinet’s approval of an preliminary agreement aimed at the prevention of human trafficking along the shared boundaries of the two nations. The agreement, announced on November 27, will also seek to strengthen efforts towards the rescue, repatriation, recovery and reintegration of victims of trafficking into civil society. 

Given the need to amplify current efforts in prevention and detection of cross-border human trafficking, both nations will look to streamline border control and immigration in co-operation with several Ministries and Organizations. As part of this endeavor, both countries will look to create a confidential database of traffickers and victims alike for sharing among select security points in both India and Myanmar. A joint Task Force is also expected to be set up in the interest of the detection and prevention of human trafficking. 

While also seeking to protect and assist victims of trafficking, the joint endeavor will look to accelerate the pace of investigation into cases and prosecution of traffickers across borders. With provisions for capacity building on either side of the border, the agreement will facilitate the creation of Standard Operating Procedures to aid the rescue, repatriation, recovery and reintegration of victims.

India shares two borders with Myanmar – one being a 1,600 km long land border and the other being a maritime border along the Bay of Bengal. The nation’s land border with Myanmar is shared by the northeastern states of Mizoram, Nagaland, Manipur and Arunachal Pradesh. A 2016 Report submitted to the Manipur Commission for the Protection of Child Rights records that the Imphal-Guwahati-Kolkata air route is most preferred by traffickers while the Imphal-Moreh-Myanmar route is the most preferred terrestrial route. 

Recent developments in the routes have led their culmination in the state of Tamil Nadu as well. It has also been recorded in the report that although the aforementioned routes may be preferred, traffickers actively to ensure that newer routes are utilized to carry out their mission. 

The current MoU will seek to heighten the spirit of co-operation between the nations in matters about the prevention of human trafficking. Relations between the nations have been cordial and strategic with several editions of National Level Meetings (NLM) and Sectoral Level Meetings (SLM) being held in the interest of managing consular issues, security cooperation as well as liaison between agencies.  

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