NL Interview: Hasina Kharbhih on combating human trafficking in Northeast India

The veteran activist discusses what it takes to rescue and rehabilitate thousands of trafficked women and children.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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Hasina Kharbhih is the founder of the Impulse NGO Network, a civil society organisation based in Shillong, Meghalaya, which works to combat human trafficking in Northeast India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Myanmar. INGON, as it’s popularly known, has helped rescue and rehabilitate thousands of trafficked women and children over the past two decades.

In this interview with Snigdha Sharma, Hasina explains the origin of the “impulse model” that uses a multidisciplinary approach to combat human trafficking.

Recalling how the project began, she explains that it was driven by the realisation that there were socioeconomic causes behind human trafficking. This understanding culminated in “action on the ground,” she adds, “and brought public and private sectors together to respond to the issue by using the legal framework of our country more innovatively”.

Hasina attributes IGNON’s success in rescuing over 72,400 women and children so far to “the engagement of various organisations working together”.

She also discusses the organisation’s cooperation with anti-human trafficking units and the challenges of such collaboration. One key challenge, she elaborates, is the ignorance of many in law enforcement about issues related to human trafficking. “That is also something we have had to break, that kind of concept, through various training programmes,” she adds.

Hasina also traces her personal journey and the many challenges she has faced as a woman working against human trafficking.


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