Bangalore: The gore reality of children going missing in the country is a nightmare, to which one wakes up each day. Most of these children are trafficked or sold and some are recovered from placement agencies or elsewhere.
In some cases children and their families are enticed by better job offers and living options, others are just nabbed form the streets. These children are exposed to a wide range of danger which includes violence, neglect and sexual exploitation.
The child victim of human trafficking is accounted to approximately 6 lakh to 8 lakh yearly, smuggled across the international borders. Human trafficking is the 3rd largest lucrative immoral industry run worldwide. The trafficked children are used for prostitution, forced into marriage, used as cheap or unpaid labour, illegally adopted, used for sport and organ harvesting. Some children are recruited into armed groups.
As per UNICEF a victim of child trafficking is ďany person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country". It is one the hardest crimes to record and investigate, for this reason itís hard to get the accurate data. However the latest number is estimated to 1.2 million children across the world as per childlineindia.org.in
India plays as the source, destination and transit country for child selling trade. Majority of this illegal trade happens within India, also in Nepal and Bangladesh. There is no set number of national estimates of the trafficked children every year. Yet 40 percent of children are pushed into prostitution and demand continues for young girls in this trade.
Some numbers are proposed by NGOs estimating the number of women and children trafficked into to the country from neighboring states for prostitution. Around 12,000 to 50,000 girls are smuggled each year, many are from Nepal and Bangladesh. Nepalese girls aged 16 are used for prostitution in India. Around 1,000 to 1,500 Indian children are illegally transported to Saudi Arabia to beg during Hajj. In India Karnataka, Andara Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal show the maximum number of humans trafficked. Intra state or inter district trafficking occurs in high rate in Rajasthan, Assam, Meghalaya, Bihar, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. The major receiving states are Delhi and Goa. High number of trafficking happens from north eastern states in India but is never given proper attention. 529 girls were trafficked in 2008 only from Assam.
There rising demand in urban areas for live-in maids has spiked the smuggling. As a result girls from villages in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Chhattisgarh are made to live in extremely poor conditions. First they are kept in placement agencies, then in the employerís home. The placement agent put these girls in a small, unkempt, completely packed room.
There are many cases where these girls are abused physically and sexually by their employers. There are girls who have fallen victim to multiple rapes. When they are rescued after facing these tragic episodes in life, these girls are refused to be accepted by their family for being raped as it is seen as a blemish on the family.
There are parts of the country with need for brides, and as incomprehensible as it may seem, it is preposterous that girls are trafficked to become wives. The falling sex ratio has led to this tend mostly in Punjab and Haryana. Brides are acquired from villages in West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand, Assam, and Orissa, these girls are sold by their parents for pennies. As in the case of Jyoti , A girl of 14 years was sold for Rs 15,000 by her parents to marry a 40 year old man.
India as per the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act of 1986 has legal provisions to tackle trafficking against children and women. The Ministry of Women and Child Development has formulated a number of initiatives to fight trafficking of both children and women.
Child trafficking and child labours are closely linked social peril. Most boys are made to work as child labours in factories, like textile and yarn industries, construction sites, in road sites, food joints; there are many places to find this crime, yet itís been hard to eradicate it so far.
Attempts are being made to fight and abolish this modern day slavery. In this battle against trafficking at present trafficking is winning. But donít despair, only a collaborated action against it can be the remedy. There are government organizations, civil society, international bodies, and pressure groups that working together to end it, and the support and involvement of the public is equally essential. Children are the future of tomorrow and nobody has the right to take their future from them. As it said "What a child doesn't receive he can seldom later give." Letís hope every child receives love, knowledge and values, so that he can give the same when time comes.