New Delhi, 21 May 2021: The Governmenthas been giving high priority on preventing and combating crimes against vulnerable sections of society, including women, children, senior citizens and Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes, and as well as for putting in place institutional mechanisms for preventing and countering human trafficking.

Taking into account the impact of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic particularly on vulnerable groups, the MHA has again reiterated to States/ Union Territories to focus on vulnerable sections, especially children who may have been orphaned due to loss of parents due to COVID-19. The MHA has asked States/Union Territories to undertake an immediate review of existing facilities for vulnerable groups, especially for children who have been orphaned, senior citizens who may require timely assistance and support (medical as well as safety and security), and members of the Scheduled Castes/ Scheduled Tribes who may need guidance to access Government support facilities.

The MHA has requested States/ Union Territories forsensitization of police personnel, coordination with various line Departments/ Agencies concerned to effectively deploy the Women Help Desk in Police Stations and Anti-Human Trafficking Units in Districts. The NCRB has released several tools to States/Union Territories to facilitate in this activity, such as the Crime Multi Centre Agency (Cri-MAC) for police to share inter-state information; online National Alert Service for police on missing and found persons using the Crime and Criminal Tracking Network and Systems (CCTNS), and an automated photo matching web-based application UNIFY that uses the Machine Learning model to enable police personnel to search photographs of missing persons, unidentified dead bodies etc. against the national image repository in the CCTNS. The MHA has requested the States / Union Territories to create greater awareness on the central citizen servicefor missing personswhich is available online. The MHA has also referred to the recent SOPs issued for safety of Transgendersduring COVID-19.

States/ Union Territories have been using these facilities for the benefit of citizens.