An IPS officer from Telangana, Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat, who currently serves as Rachakonda Police Commissioner, was recently conferred the 2017 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report Heroes Award by the US State Department.
The IPS officer was recognised for his vital role in elevating human trafficking as a government priority, and his innovative approach to investigating cases and dismantling trafficking.
With this, Bhagwat became the third IPS officer to receive the honour.
Bhagwat joins seven other individuals from around the world who were recognised for their efforts despite resistance, opposition and threats to their lives to protect victims, punish offenders and raise awareness of ongoing criminal practices in their countries and abroad. The other seven individuals from around the world conferred with the prestigious honour are:
Alika Kinan, the first survivor of human trafficking in Argentina
Leonardo Sakamoto, a Brazilian journalist
Vanaja Jasphine, Coordinator of the Kumbo Diocesan Commission for Justice and Peace in the Northwest Region of Cameroon
Viktoria Sebhelyi, a Hungarian sociologist and human rights activist
Amina Oufroukhi, a judge within the Moroccan Ministry of Justice’s Directorate of Criminal Affairs and Pardons
Allison Lee, Co-founder and the Secretary General of the Yilan Migrant Fishermen Union and
Boom Mosby, Founder and Director of the HUG Project
Achievements of Mahesh Muralidhar Bhagwat
• Mahesh Bhagwat has been fighting against organised human trafficking for the last 13 years.
• He has participated in anti-trafficking operations that have removed hundreds of victims from situations of trafficking. With the help of other government departments and civil society organisations, he has ensured victims’ placement in rehabilitation programmes.
• He is renowned for his innovative and effective approach in investigating human trafficking cases.
• Under his command, the Rachakonda Police Commissionerate closed 25 brothels in less than a year.
• Under his supervision, the Commissionerate participated in one of the largest crackdowns on labour trafficking in the country, which led to the identification and rescue of more than 350 children forced to work in brick kilns.
About Trafficking in Persons Report Heroes Award
• Every year, the U.S. Department of State, under the Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons, honours individuals from around the world who dedicate their lives to fight human trafficking.
• These heroes include individuals working for NGOs, lawmakers, police officers, and concerned citizens who are fighting tirelessly to end this form of cruel modern slavery.
When: June 2017
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