Context | Objective | Composition | Impact

Composition of Self-regulatory Boards of DMSC:

The Self-regulatory Boards of DMSC are innovative in the field of anti-trafficking activities. The composition is mainly of partnership with different organisations. These are described as follows:

Partnership with the Depts. Of health, Labour and Social Welfare, Govt. of West Bengal: From its inception, SRBs have developed links with the Depts. of health, Labour and Social Welfare of the Govt. of West Bengal. Advocacy among the Ministers-in-Charge and Department Secretaries are done regularly. Of late interactions are going on with the State Government on registering a State-level Coordination Committee of SRBs to facilitate rehabilitation of women and girls rescued by DMSC and to ensure that they get another chance for changing their lives.

Innovative public-private partnership: Self-regulatory Boards are collaborative efforts of sex workers and of people from the rest of the society. Sixty per cent of the membership is from the sexworker community and comprise of sexworkers, DMSC branch committee members and peer educators of different intervention projects. Forty percent of members of SRBs comprise of local doctors, lawyers, councillors, Panchayat functionaries and local opinion leaders. Efforts are made to include, wherever possible, Social Welfare Officers, State Women's Commission members, and other government functionaries.

Focus of SRBs is to make recruitment of underage girls into sex trade unviable to brothel-managers and madams: Central strategy is therefore, rescue and rehabilitation of underage girls or unwilling women forced/coerced into sex work sites; SRBs concentrate their maximum energy and effort at identifying, rescuing and repatriating/rehabilitating girls/women trafficked into sex work. DMSC feels, the central focus should be on the trafficked girl/woman and efforts should be made to rescue, repatriate and/or rehabilitate her. DMSC activists, being sexworkers and residing in sex work sites, are uniquely positioned to do this work successfully. In areas where SRBs are functioning, trafficking of girls/women for sex work has becomes unviable for traffickers and other controllers.

Standardized guidelines, and history-taking and medical examination formats are used by SRBs for rescue, repatriation, rehabilitation and follow-up of women trafficked into sex sector.

Networking and partnership with police: SRB members regularly liase with local police and continue advocacy of their activities with district and state police. In a number of sex work sites, local police entrust SRBs with rescue/rehabilitation of underage girls.

Maintenance of comprehensive documentation, including photographs of rescued persons by DMSC.

Rehabilitation of rescued girls in state-approved shelters and maintaining contact with them to ensure overall development of rescued girls with the aim to improve their chances in life. This is the central post-rescue thrust area for DMSC- providing access to the rescued girls of non-formal education, vocational training and cultural activities. This is in contrast to rescue of underage girls by law enforcement agencies- whose work ends, for all practical purposes, after the girls is rescued and put into a Govt. run rehabilitation home where new series of  nightmares wait for her.

Other efforts: To improve quality of lives of sexworkers and their children and to give rescued women/underage girls chances in life, DMSC runs adult literacy classes; education centres for children/underage girls and provides skills training in handicrafts.

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