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Child Trafficking in India

According to UNICEF a child victim of trafficking is any person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country. Female children are trafficked for marriage, sex-work, criminal activity, adoption and organ trade whereas male children are trafficked mainly for labour and exploited as beggars. Sometimes, trafficked children are also recruited into armed groups or for criminal activity.

Initiatives to combat trafficking of Women and Children

The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD) in an attempt to stop the trafficking of women and children has undertaken a number of initiatives.

  • National Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Women and Children 1998, was formulated with the aim of mainstreaming and reintegrating victims of trafficking.
  • Central Advisory Committee (CAB) was constituted to advise on methods and tactic to address the problem.
    Pre-rescue, Rescue and Post-rescue operations of child victims of trafficking for the purpose of Commercial Sexual Exploitation protocol was published as guidelines for all stakeholders
  • The MWCD in collaboration with NIPCCD and UNICEF has developed three manuals for 'Judicial Handbook on combating Trafficking of women and Children for Commercial Sexual Exploitation; 'Manual for Medical Officers for Dealing with Child Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation; and 'Counselling services for Child survivors of trafficking'.
    The Ministry of Home Affairs has set up a dedicated nodal Cell in the MHA for the prevention of trafficking. The cell is responsible for providing state governments with the necessary research, studies and information.
  • The ministry organises workshops for NGOs on issues relating to the trafficking of children for commercial sexual exploitation. A special module for counsellors of trafficked victims has been formulated.
  • Suggested amendment of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 to widen its scope, focus on traffickers, human rights of victims and focus on proper implementation.
  • Training all stakeholders such as police, government officials, etc. to better understand the situation and hence respond properly to suspicious activity or person.
  • The MWCD runs Shelter based homes Short Stay Homes, Swadhar Homes for women in difficult circumstances
  • Three pilot projects were implemented i)Pilot project to combat trafficking women and children for commercial sexual exploitation under the sanction of tradition ii) Pilot project to combat trafficking of women and children for commercial, sexual exploitation in source areas and iii) Pilot project to combat trafficking of women and children for commercial sexual exploitation in destination areas. The projects are in the process of being converted into a full scheme.
  • With the Ministry of External Affairs, MWCD has endeavoured to create special task forces to combat cross border trafficking.
  • Tackle trafficking of women and girls by addressing issues of poverty, illiteracy, lack of access to education and schools, lack of vocational skill and employment opportunities, the prevalence of age-old evil practices like child marriages, low status of women and girls in society etc.

 

Count On Us - Child Trafficking Documentary CHILDLINE INDIA 1098
Case Study

A girl child saved from being trafficked

Meena, 14-year old had been trafficked from Gurugram to Itawain Uttar Pradesh. CHILDLINE team Aligarh received a call from Gabhana Police Station that a girl child was found. Project Coordinator and CHILDLINE team member reached the spot and met the child. On interrogation, it was revealed that a man named Kallan, who works nearby her home and was known to her parents had brought her there to show her a temple. But he had some other intentions as after their temple visit, he took her to an Ashram where they stayed a night and in the morning boarded a bus. The girl questioned the man but was scolded and made to stay silent. As the bus passed by Gabhana area, the man misbehaved with the child and she started crying. This alerted the bus driver and other passengerswho asked the girl and stopped the bus at Gabhana Police Station. They handed over the child and the man to the police. Gabhana Police arrested the man, called CHILDLINE team and handed over the childto the team for care and protection. CHILDLINE team Aligarh then searched for the child’s address and informed the concerned Police Station of Badshapur in Gurugram. It was found that child‘s father had already filed a missing person FIR. Then CHILDLINE team co-ordinated with Badshapur Police and contacted the Gabhana Police. The Badshapur Police arrived with the parents to Aligarh. They arrested the man and took him under their custody. CHILDLINE team presented the child and her parents to Child Welfare Committee (CWC) Aligarh. For the best interest of child, the CWC restored the child to her parents and transferred her case to Gurugram CWC for further trial and investigation.

(*Name and details changed to protect the child)