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«Journey to Justice Manual on Psychosocial Intervention Government of India Journey to Justice Manual on Psychosocial Intervention Technical ...»

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Government of India

Journey to Justice

Manual on Psychosocial Intervention

Government of India

Journey to Justice

Manual on Psychosocial Intervention




Mr. Gary Lewis, Representative, UNODC, Regional Office for South Asia

The Working Group of Project IND/ S16:

Dr. P. M. Nair, Project Coordinator

Dr. Geeta Sekhon, Project Officer

Ms. Swasti Rana, Consultant Mr. Varghese John, Admin/ Finance Assistant UNODC is grateful to the team of SAARTHAK, New Delhi

for developing this document:

Dr. Achal Bhagat Ms. Ratna Golaknath Ms. Aparna Bhat Ms. Bharti Tiwari Ms. Shweta Verma Ms. Tasneem Jamal Ms. Maneesha Srivastava Ms. Shreya Jha Ms. Divya Kumar Ms. Nidhi Ms. Vasudha Mr. Abhijit

UNODC acknowledges the support of:

Dr. Kiran Bedi Mr. K. Skandan, Joint Secretary (CS), MHA Ms. Manjula Krishnan, Economic Advisor, MWCD 2 Journey to Justice © UNODC, 2008 Year of Publication: 2008 A publication of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime Regional Office for South Asia EP 16/17, Chandragupta Marg Chanakyapuri New Delhi - 110 021 www.unodc.org/india Disclaimer This Manual has been compiled by Saarthak for Project IND/S16 of United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, Regional Office for South Asia. The opinions expressed in this document do not necessarily represent the official policy of the Government of India or the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime. The designations used do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of the United Nations concerning the legal status of any country, territory or area or of its authorities, frontiers or boundaries.

Back cover poster: Prajwala, Hyderabad

Designed and printed by:


Tel: 91-11-23733100 3


Author’s Note


Chapter 1 About the Manual

Chapter 2 A Letter from Tara

Chapter 3 First Response

Chapter 4 Interviewing the Survivor

Chapter 5 Survivor in the court

Chapter 6 Tools for Aware Counter Trafficking Professional........... 73 Annex I - Suggested Reading

4 Journey to Justice Author

–  –  –

Foreword Trafficking of women and children is one of the gravest organized crimes and violations of human rights, extending beyond boundaries and jurisdictions. Preventing and combating of human trafficking requires all stakeholders to integrate their responses on prosecution, prevention and protection. Keeping this philosophy in mind, Project IND/S16 of the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, which is a joint initiative of UNODC and Government of India, with support from the US Government, has undertaken several initiatives since its launch in April 2006 in India. Our project is focused on “Strengthening the law enforcement response in India against trafficking in persons, through training and capacity building”. The major activities in the project are training of police officials and prosecutors, setting up Integrated Anti Human Trafficking Units, establishing networks among law enforcement agencies and civil society partners as well as developing appropriate tools including Protocols, Manuals, Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Compendiums and other training aids.

As the manual points out, trafficking in human beings is not just a crime, it is a systematic demolition of a person. ‘Journey to Justice’ is a manual for law enforcement officials, prosecutors and other officers of the legal and judicial process to enable them to treat the survivors of trafficking with dignity and without re-traumatizing them. It also addresses the appropriate responses that should be made by the civil society organizations and mental health professionals to a trafficked victim/ survivor.

The manual provides a comprehensive and meticulous narrative of the first responses, interviewing process and techniques, as well as the journey of the survivor through the investigation and court processes and essential tools for counter trafficking professionals.

This manual, documented by SAARTHAK, New Delhi is a concise, practical and userfriendly tool that contains “best practice” principles and specific recommendations on working with trafficked victims/survivors by all stakeholders. It will be of use to all stakeholders working in the field of anti human trafficking.

–  –  –

CHAPTER 1 About the Manual Journey to Justice is a manual for law enforcement officials, prosecutors and other officers of the legal and judicial process to enable them to treat the survivors of trafficking with dignity and without retraumatizing them.

To be able to work as a counter trafficking professional in the context of a law enforcement and judicial process with the survivors of trafficking, it is important for you to know the reality of their experiences.

Trafficking is not just a crime; it is a systematic demolition of a person.

The scene of the crime is the person’s mind. There are irreversible scars on it.

You have to respond to the person and the crime. Do not forget the person while pursuing the truth behind the crime. The person and her reality is the biggest truth, and you are the person’s custodian.

It takes courage to stop, listen, analyse and understand the reality faced by the survivor of trafficking, let alone live it.

In Chapter 1, this manual encourages you to attempt to be with the survivor for a moment. It does so by bringing to you the reality of the survivors of trafficking in their own words and by words of those who have worked on trying to understand the impact of trafficking of the person’s mind. It is not a complete understanding of the mind of a survivor. That is not possible. It is perhaps a beginning to be with the survivor’s experiences, needs, thoughts and feelings, rather than use the label of ‘victim of trafficking’.

The manual also recognizes that you are used to the word ‘victim’. This manual prefers to use the word ‘survivor’ to describe the victims of trafficking. The word victim and survivor are used interchangeably but the author salutes the survivors’ ability to survive. Anyone who has faced and lived through so many traumas is a survivor. She needs to be acknowledged as a person with abilities to outgrow her pain, rather than a person who is going to be a dependent person pitying herself for the rest of her life.

When this manual describes the suffering of the survivor, the purpose is not to gain your sympathy, but to make you aware of which issues to discuss cautiously with the survivor, so that you do not violate her like others have done.

You have heard many stories of trauma in your life. At times trauma can put you off the person. The reality is that the survivor is a person and needs to be treated like one, whatever her experiences may have been.

–  –  –

form a relationship when the survivor does not trust you? This chapter describes skills and processes which increase trust and decrease the chances of the survivor being traumatized again.

In Chapter 3 the manual reinforces the skills of interviewing the survivor during the evidentiary stage, so that she can be an effective witness for prosecution. This chapter is particularly useful for the investigating officer, but the skills of interviewing are universal and may help prosecutors and other professionals who come in contact with the survivors of trafficking.

When people describe their lives, they are likely to remember key milestones in their journeys. They have memories of achievement and loss. They have memories of relationships. They have memories of events. They have beliefs and feelings. They also have doubts about themselves as well as a sense of who they are and knowledge of their beliefs about themselves. You want them to describe the details of the crime, but what they want to talk about is their fears and experiences. You have to hear them, reassure them and investigate the crime. You have to be human and not just a professional. Your being an efficient interviewer not only helps you establish the events of the crime and consolidate the evidence, but also helps you to ensure that the survivor feels that she has been heard. She is able to challenge her beliefs about the rehabilitation process and is able to use the resources available to her. A good interview decreases the chances of retrafficking significantly.

Chapter 4 describes the survivor in the court and suggests what a prosecutor can do to help decrease the potential trauma related to being in the court. It lists for the prosecutor possible victim friendly judicial processes which have a sanction either in the Indian case law or in the descriptions of international best practice.

Chapter 5 is a collection of tools which could be helpful for professionals who work with survivors of trafficking in the context of law enforcement and judicial redress. Some of these tools help the professionals look after themselves. Other tools are helpful in ensuring that professionals from other disciplines who are involved in the investigation and trial of a case of human trafficking have an aware response informed by the emotional state of the survivor.

All lives are journeys which have a sense of dignity, a sense of control, a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. You may be a police officer, an officer of the court, you may be working in an NGO or you may be a health professional. All of us strive to achieve a balance of positive experiences in our lives, and this sustains us as individuals. A survivor of trafficking is no different. Her expectation from you as a professional is to ensure her rights. You have to ensure that her journey to justice is a journey of dignity, purpose, belonging and control. You have to ensure that you do not contribute to, nor are you witness to any further abuse, helplessness, isolation and suffering for the survivor. This manual helps you discover ways of being the guard of the journey to justice.

–  –  –

CHAPTER 2 A Letter from Tara Namaste, I am Tara. This is the story of my life. This is also the story of my friends. You too have been a part of this story. You have met me many times, but you do not know me. I have met you many times and I am afraid of you. I wish I had not met any of you, ever. I wish my life was a film and it could be replayed and I could banish my thoughts and memories.

But life is not a film and I cannot edit it or keep it aside. I have decided to outgrow my pain by sharing with you what happens to people like me everyday. I am sharing with you my story in the hope that you will not let what happened to me, happen ever again to anyone else.

Let me ask you a question. When you get up in the morning, do you remind yourself who you are? Do you tell yourself, “I am a police officer or I am a lawyer?” Do you tell yourself, “I am this colour, this caste, this height?” Do you tell yourself, “Yesterday I had a tooth ache, my family spoke rudely to me, my boss did not consider my effort and I will have sondesh today?” Do you tell yourself these things? No? I guess not. All this is a part of you.

You do not have to remind yourself of your experiences.

But I am reminded repeatedly about my experiences. Every moment, every day I am told I am a victim of trafficking. There are stares and there are sniggers. There are frowns and there are pitying glances. The way my life is touched by all of you is through blame. I am defined by traumatic experiences by you. I am blamed by you for my experiences.

Let me ask you, when you read my story, can you stop for a moment and think of me as a person? A person not much older than your child! A person who smiles, who aspires, who works very hard at forgetting that she is a victim! I am a person. I think, I feel and I get hurt just like you. I have been hurt so many times and I am so afraid now that I do not do anything. It is better to be paralyzed than get hurt again. Please make sure no one hurts me again. Please! I am a person!

I do not even remember now where my story starts. The beginning is so misty and far away.

I can perhaps tell you my story in flashbacks. I live my life in flashbacks. They are scary but that is all that is left.

A memory starts with a smell. The smell of overflowing diesel in a bus. It mingles with the noise of the engine and a feeling of nausea. This is the first time I am leaving my town. I am sitting next to him. He tries to reassure me and gives me some water. My eyes are aching and red. I have cried all night. I do not know where I am going. He told my father I would get a job. But I also saw him giving some money to my father. All through the night he kept touching me. I knew it was not right. But what could I say? I hate bus journeys now and I hate people offering me water when I am crying.

–  –  –

It seems easier that way. I do not have to fear what will happen next. From my corner sometimes the sounds of what must be the street envelope me. I can smell burning meat. For a moment I think I must be burning. I turn on my back.

I see the ceiling. It is a disfigured white because of water. I can see faces in it.

When anyone stares at me now, the faces come back. So many faces, uniformed, rough, fair, smooth, bearded faces... discolored teeth and nameless scary faces.

Each face looming in and each face making me scream.

My screams must be my imagination. I do not remember the sound of my screams.

But I must have screamed, must I not?

I can feel the slippery dirty notes. I remember the cigarettes and the burns. I remember the smell of alcohol. I remember my first drink, my first lip stick, the first time I was raped. When it happened I did not even have a word to describe it. Then, it all kept on happening so many times that it even began to seem normal. Aunty told me that I owed her twenty five thousand rupees, money she had spent on me. I had to pay off that loan and then I would be free to do what I wanted.

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