Press Information Bureau
Government of India
Ministry of Railways
05 AUG 2022 4:23PM by PIB Delhi
Prevention of human trafficking in railways

Police’ and ‘Public Order’ are State subjects under the Seventh Schedule to the Constitution of India and, as such, State Governments are responsible for prevention, detection, registration and investigation of crime and maintaining law and order etc. on Railways through their law enforcement agencies viz. Government Railway Police (GRP)/local Police. Railway Protection Force (RPF) supplements the efforts of GRP/local Police to provide better protection and security of passenger area and passengers and for matters connected therewith. RPF is not empowered to investigate cases of Human Trafficking and whenever any case of suspected human trafficking is detected by RPF, the same is reported to GRP/District Police. The persons rescued and apprehended are handed over to concerned Police for further necessary action as per law.

Children in need of care and protection coming in contact with Railways, who can be prospective victim of Human Trafficking are rescued regularly, in accordance with the provisions of the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) issued by Railways in coordination with Ministry of Women & Child Development and NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) under the Operation ‘Nanhe Farishte’ launched by RPF for rescue of such children.

In order to strengthen action against Human Trafficking, more than 750 Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) have been setup by RPF over the Indian Railways. These AHTUs coordinate with AHTUs of Police & CAPFs (Central Armed Police Forces) i.e. BSF & SSB functioning at district level/state levels/International Borders and with Intelligence Units, NGOs and other stakeholders and take effective action on traffickers as per law.

RPF has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Association of Voluntary Action (AVA) also known as Bachpan Bachao Andolan (an NGO), who is assisting in training and capacity building of RPF, GRP and other railway staff on all child protection issues and in implementation of sensitization and awareness campaigns. Also, AVA shares intelligence information pertaining to suspected traffickers and their activities with RPF to conduct raids and help in rescue of trafficked children.

Further, a pan India Drive ‘Operation AAHT’ is undertaken by RPF focused to take effective action in cases of Human Trafficking through railways. During the current year (upto June), total 150 children being trafficked through railway system have been rescued by RPF from the clutches of traffickers under ‘Operation AAHT’.

Further, the following steps are being taken by the Railways in coordination with GRP/District Police to prevent Human Trafficking through trains and railway premises:-

  1. Train escorting parties and staff deployed in mass contact areas have been sensitized and trained to identify the potential victims of trafficking and immediate action taken to rescue them.
  2. An Exhaustive Security circular No.03/2022 dated 02.02.2022, detailing action plan to be taken by RPF against Human Trafficking have been issued.
  3. To supplement the efforts of State Police, Cyber cells of RPF have been instructed for cyber patrolling of the web/social media to look for digital footprints/traces of human trafficking in the internet and to cull out the clues helpful in taking action against Human Trafficking through railways.
  4. The subject of “Human Trafficking” have been included in all training courses conducted in RPF Training Centres. Also, time to time Special seminars are organised to sensitize RPF personnel and train them in identification of victims and traffickers.
  5. Periodic   review   meetings   are    held    with    Nodal    Officers    of    Anti    Human Trafficking    Units    and     other     concerned     agencies     from     time     to     time     to review the efforts undertaken to combat human trafficking.
  6. Surveillance is kept through CCTV cameras provided in 5882 coaches and 861 Railway Stations for enhanced security of passengers.

This information was given by the Minister of Railways, Communications and Electronic & Information Technology, Shri Ashwini Vaishnaw in a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today.