Human Trafficking Issue Raised by Foreign Secretary During Myanmar Visit: MEA

Reportedly, 38 Indian nationals, who were duped of job offers in Myanmar and were made to work under harsh conditions, were repatriated to India earlier this month
Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra (Photo/ANI)
Indian Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra (Photo/ANI)

Foreign Secretary Vinay Mohan Kwatra met senior leadership of Myanmar during his trip to the Southeast Asian country and raised the issue of human trafficking of Indians by international crime syndicates based in the Myawaddy area.

The Indian citizens fell prey to transnational crime syndicates in Myanmar. Reportedly, thirty-eight Indian nationals, who were duped of job offers in Myanmar and were made to work under harsh conditions, were repatriated to India earlier this month.

"During his meetings with the senior leadership of Myanmar, Foreign Secretary discussed maintenance of security and stability in the border areas of India and Myanmar; raised the issue of human trafficking by international crime syndicates in the Myawaddy area of Myanmar in which many Indian nationals have been caught and reviewed bilateral development cooperation projects," the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said in a statement.

Foreign Secretary expressed India's continued support to people-centric socio-economic developmental projects, including those along the India-Myanmar border areas.

He conveyed India's commitment to expeditious implementation of ongoing connectivity initiatives such as the Kaladan Multimodal Transit Transport Project and the Trilateral Highway.

Kwatra also reiterated India's commitment to continue with the projects under Rakhine State Development Programme and Border Area Development Programme for the benefit of the people of Myanmar.

On Monday, MEA spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said Foreign Secretary during Myanmar's visit held discussions on bilateral border management and security issues.

"Foreign Secretary @AmbVMKwatra paid a working visit to Myanmar on November 20-21. Held discussions on important bilateral issues relating to border management, security and ongoing bilateral cooperation projects & India's support to democratic transition in Myanmar," Bagchi tweeted.

Kwatra's visit was the second such visit by the Indian Foreign Secretary, since the military coup in February last year.

The ASEAN Convention against Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (ACTIP) was signed by ASEAN leaders on November 21, 2015, at the 27th ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

So far, nine ASEAN member states have ratified the ACTIP. This is the only binding regional convention on the trafficking of persons outside of Europe. This document also demonstrates the strong commitment and unprecedented joint determination of the member states in the fight against trafficking in persons.

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