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CHILD TRAFFICKING IN INDIA

Author: Mayukh Nandi, IV year of B.A.,LL.B from Shyambazar Law College.


ABSTRACT

"They lied to me. They lied to my parents. What am I supposed to do now? I am scared. What was my mistake? I am the only child of my parents. How can I not expect a secured and normal life? Or did my parents lie to me? Are my parents really responsible for my dreadful situation?" Humankind is a gift of God and the only species who feels and cares for their closed ones more than anyone else in this planet. Whoever dares and tries to kill and trade with the human race, is a "hostis humani generis".


Concurrently, it is only the mankind who is the most treacherous and menacing at times, which eventually portrays their disposition and nature that eventually, in due course leads to, “effectus sequitor causam”. The effect of greed and inability on humankind causes and forces them to follow the trail of heinous and horrible evils who would have “bete noire” in their viscous purgatory.


When people cried out loud, regarding what nation and nationalism is, not only to declare oneself as independent, by the time, one did recognize that the security and safety of the citizens have to be the foremost ideal of a true Republic Country where “res publica res est populi" The emphasized crisis of protection and safety of the people prior to nation and nationalism has to be the principal agenda of a “SOVEREIGN SOCIALIST SECULAR DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC” nation. If, people are not secured in their birth place, in their own nation, the value of independence from merciless and villainous, would be incoherent and incomprehensible consummation of procurement. Has it not yet proven that the nation, standing on plus 74 years of independence, entirely failed in order to secure the children from being trafficked?


How we wish we could call ourselves independent? It is an undeniable truth following the appropriate legal provisions under the proper statute passed by two houses of Parliament, however, in India, nothing stays efficient and fruitful. No sooner did the provision come into action, than the trading and trafficking began to originate illegally in the market, back door.


Despite the protection and punishment granted by Indian Government, the offence of human trafficking continue to happen. How can we not remove this darkness from our life? Here in this short article, the unfortunate notion of child trafficking, the reasons behind the occurrence of trading a child, and the hapless & forlorn, remedies of protection granted to a child from the wicked traffickers have been discussed chronologically in seriatim.


Though Marcus Tullius Cicero, a former Roman Consul, specified, “lustitia est regina virtutis" before “Anno Domini", yet, not prior to 22nd Century, do parents cry here in India for the justice which has long not been served since the judicial organ of the nation, in lieu of having a supreme accessibility of imposing guidance and direction, is as slow as the hope of their children again, someday, would return to their respective homes. Be that as it may, “vigilantibus non dormientibus jura subviniunt".


WHAT IS CHILD TRAFFICKING IN INDIA?

According to section 2(z) of The Goa Children's Act, 2003, the term, “child trafficking” means the recruitment, procurement, transfer, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons, legally or illegally, within or across borders, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of giving or receiving payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having a control over another person for monetary gain or otherwise.


Child trade has been an offence, recognized under human trafficking, under section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860, of Chapter XVI which states buying or disposing of any person as a slave where whoever would import, or export or removes or buys or sells or disposes of any person as a slave, or accepts, receives or detains against his will, any person as a slave, concomitantly, under clause 16 of The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 of Chapter V which states regarding the search, rescue and post rescue activities where if a person or Anti Trafficking Police Officer or Anti Trafficking Unit has reason to believe that it is necessary to rescue a person without undue delay due to the eminent danger that may cause to his life and person, he or it may remove such person from any place or premises and produce him before the Magistrate or Child Welfare Committee, who could shall take all necessary steps for the medical examination of such person for the purposes of determination as to the age, the assessment or detection of any trauma, injury or illnesses incidental thereto if occurs or needed.


Now the question arises regarding what is the term, “Child Welfare Committee” stands for in India? However, in India the term, “Child Welfare Committee” means which has been stated under clause 2 (f) of The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 of Chapter I which states that the aforesaid term shall have the meaning assigned to it in section 27 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015 where it has been explained for the production of a Child before the Committee whereas under section 27 (1) introduces and specifies that a child in need of care and protection shall be produced before the Committee within 24 hours, excluding journey time if any police officer or Special Juvenile Police Unit or a designed police officer, any public servant, any child-line help, who are registered as voluntary organization or by such other voluntary organization or an agency as may be recognized by the State Government, any social worker, any public spirited citizen or if any child by himself.


Article 21 of the Constitution of India states that “No person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty except according to the procedure established by law" which is known as the Right to Life and Personal Liberty. Therefore no child, no person could be destitute from his or her life and self determination, independence and freedom in India, where protection of life and personal liberty is a Fundamental Right granted to the citizens under Part III of the Indian Constitution, 1950.


The right to protection of life and personal liberty showcases the foundational values deeply esteemed by the people of the country and are granted against actions of the state, which means that no act of any state authority could violate any such right of a citizen except according to the procedure established and authorized by the law. In the case of Maneka Gandhi vs Union of India, the Supreme Court stated that “personal liberty" given in Article 21 of the Constitution of India had the widest amplitude, concurrently covered a variety of rights related to the personal liberty of an individual, but the scope of personal liberty was increased by the apex Court and it was held to include and add all the rights granted under the said Article 21.


Henceforth, personal liberty of a person or a child, is a fundamental right granted by the Indian Constitution, whoever dares to infringe the rights or trade with the life of humankind, must be punished vigorously by the appropriate laws of authority.

It is estimated that in India, certainly, around 1, 35,000 numbers of children are trafficked every year, cutting off the relationship to their parents and sending them to the dark and irrefutable insane situations.


There is a 25% rise in child trade since 2015 where almost 20, 000 children and women were subjected to human trading in 2016. The most child trafficking cases is found to be in the state of Assam which holds 38% of India's child trafficking cases. As Assam is a green corridor for the traffickers who could trade children even to Arunachal Pradesh, Tripura, Nagaland, Manipur, Mizoram, and to international corridors such as to Bangladesh, to Nepal via West Bengal, to Myanmar via Arunachal Pradesh, Bhutan and even so to China via Bhutan. It is found that 90% of human trafficking happens interstate while only 10% of trafficking happens internationally.


WHAT ARE THE SEEDS FOR THE OCCURRENCE CHILD TRAFFICKING IN INDIA?

The major seeds or causes of the offence of child trafficking in India is arranged chronologically in seriatim:


2.A PENURY.

Penury or poverty has been the most urgent seed to remove from the society and community. Since India's independence, till now on 74th Independent year, India, the nation itself and the Indian Government, utterly failed in reducing the penury from its territory, people still lie Below Poverty Line or lie under BPL Scheme, where the monthly income of people is below 5000 rupees a month. A man earning less than 5000 rupees a month cannot run his family of 3 members. Penury due to unemployment, lack of resources, stable climate, all such crisis forces one family to feel the poverty.


In India, nobody talks about the methods to reduce poverty, assurances of employments are given to people with an unfortunate and hapless hopes of reducing poverty of a family. Due to this widespread penury, fake promises, false assurances, and vague offers are given by the traffickers or illegal traders to the families lying below the poverty line, sometimes to the children, promising them to give better food, toys, books & copies, modern clothes et cetera while sometimes children, themselves want to fall into the traps for 3 times food, a stable meagre earning and a stay whereas even so family members or adults or parents intentionally given their children to the traffickers for selling their children in return of a few lakhs of money. How can own parents of a child sell their children to the traffickers?


This is not only inhumane but also a illegal. Despite, it is observed that if a family contains 5 members consisting father, mother and three children, the smallest child in respect of age, is sold to the traffickers by the parents. Is this the way to reduce poverty? Are the State Governments and the Central Government will not do anything to remote this penury and stop child traffickers. The Government, nonetheless, only talks about employments, but hardly major steps taken and is observed from the Government, which would eventually portray a no poverty and a crime free society. Nevertheless, legal provisions have been made to reduce the offence of child trade, bribery, black marketing, high profit margin business, and illegal trade not allowing the judiciary and the security personnel to limit the crisis, which as a result making their platform and the methods as blunt as the surface of wood. The night terror of humankind that was left to originate, did spread out throughout the environment, is the Corona Virus Pandemic, the COVID-19, that went airborne, and killed lakhs of people throughout countries, forced people to stay inside their homes which them with more unemployment and mental distress, unable to run their family, feed their children and complete the basic necessities of their family members, due to poverty and hunger, suffering from mental agony, getting no ways possible to recover, people committing even suicide, ending their lives, sometimes even selling their to the traffickers. It is observed that the rate of child trafficking in India has increased to 5 times during this COVID-19 Pandemic situation.


2.B CHILD LABOUR.

People need young people to run their business" concurrently, “People need jobs, may be meagre, to earn their living with their families". “Laboring children is not only an offence but also a curse." Can any parent in this universe let the traffickers trade their children? Parents sometimes, failing to give their children proper food, clothes, education, due to poverty, unemployment, sell their children to the traffickers in return of some money while sometimes, fake promises are kept before parents in order to traffic their children, unable to deny the vague offers, parents do believe in trafficking and let their child go vanish with them into the never returning nightmares.


Trading children as a labor into various working platforms is an offence recognized and must be punished under section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 while trafficking of a humankind is recognized as an offence under section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 of Chapter XVI even so under 16 of the said The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 of Chapter V. Child Trafficking for Child Labour, is visible very often in India, no matter what the future would be, the children, sometimes willing, even at times unknowingly and unwillingly, could be seen working in another’s owned working fields.


Section 14 of the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 recognizes laboring a child as an offence, and imposed penalties stating that under section 14 (1) of the aforesaid Act whoever employs any child or permits any child to work in contravention of the provisions of section 3 of the said Act shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three months but which may extend to one year or with fine which shall not be less than ten thousand rupees but which may extend to twenty thousand rupees or with both, while under section 14 (2) of the said Act, whoever, if having been convicted of an offence under section 3 of the said Act, commits an offence afterwards, he shall be punishable with an imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than six months but which may extend to two years and whereas in section 14(3) of the aforesaid Act, whoever would fail to give notice as required by section 9 of the said Act, or fail to maintain a register as required by section 11 or makes any false entry in any such register, or fail to display a notice containing an abstract of section 3 and this section as required by section 12 or fail to comply with or contravenes any other provisions of this Act or the rules made thereunder, shall be punishable with simple imprisonment which may extend to one month or with fine which may extend to ten thousand rupees or with both.

As per to the Delhi Commission for the Protection of Child Rights or DCPCR, approximately 9 child labors work at each scrap shops in North East Delhi’s Mustafabad where near about 30 children allegedly escaped during the raid as per on the basis of forth of such operation that has been undertaken by the Commission in order to rescue children laborers during this Pandemic, COVID- 19 situation.


As per to the International Labour Organization or ILO, they have predicted that the world may witness a rise in child labor for the first time in 20 years during this COVID – 19 Pandemic, and for that reason, there would be a risk of reverting years of progress, if any, against the said offence of child trafficking.


2.C ILLEGAL SEX TRADE BUSINESS.

None could escape from such a dark and cursed life that they have been put into by the sex traffickers.” Children in India are even not spared from sex trade, child trafficking trade children and make them forced prostitutes, making them a kind of a machine for the others to use, is a inhumane, pitiless, and unforgivable crime.


The business owners who run the business of sex trade, kidnaps children, especially, minor girls, even minor boys in order to employ them as prostitutes, who can never return to their homes from such dark sex rackets. If someone dares to try escape, and if gets caught by the such sex traffickers or members of the sex trade, is killed. In order to fulfill someone’s sexual desire or urgings, traffickers destroy the lives of many children, minor girls, who, if guided or educated well, would have become intelligent students who could have served the country more better than now. Whoever dares to commit such an offence for illegal sex trade with any minor girl, must be punished under section 366A of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 of Chapter XVI which states whoever would, if by any means whatsoever, induce any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go from any place or to do any act with intent that such girl may be, or knowing that it is likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person shall be punishable with an imprisonment which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.


The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, a legislation, which could be called and replaced the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, 1956 or SITA which did make human trafficking for prostitution illegal and stopped people who had been involving with the offence of human trafficking.


As per to the report of the National Human Rights Commission or NHRC of India, there are 40, 0000 numbers of children who are being abducted every year out of them only 11, 000 numbers of children is untraced. It is again estimated that 1.2. million children, in the year, 2009, were trafficked across the world for the production of sexually abusive images, forced prostitution and sexual exploitation.


The Union Home Ministry on 6th July, 2020 has said by issuing a desperate appeal to the States that the children and the youths are likely to be persuaded or tracked by criminals who take advantage of their emotional instability, care, necessary amenities, and missing some support system, when once trafficked, the victims fall in the traps of various types of unfair practices such as forced prostitution, forced begging, child labor even so to forced marriages.


The NGO's estimated that between 12,000 and 50,000 numbers of children along with women are annually trafficked into the neighbor countries for the purpose of illegal sex trade and transferred into India's Red Light Areas.


As per to the National Crime Record Bureau or NCRB, the trafficking of minor girls under the age of 14 has increased 14 times over the decade whereas since 2014, the said trafficking of minor girls has raised by 65 %.


As per to the Central Bureau of Investigation or CBI, 1.2 million children got involved in forced prostitution in India from the year, 2009.


As per to the United Nations Children Emergency Fund or UNICEF, there are 12.6 million children who have been engaged in various perilous occupations and working platforms.


2.D HUMAN TRAFFICKING FOR ILLEGAL HUMAN ORGANS TRADE.

The responsible and God-like medical practitioners or professionals upon whom we believe that if there is anyone who could save human lives is only the doctors, medical practitioners and professionals, we pray for the best treatment and cure before them, while sometimes, due to high profit margins in this trade, illegal practice occurs such as child trafficking for the selling the human body organs to some other illegal international trafficking organizations.


The Union Health Minister, Mr. Ghulam Nabi Azad in the year 2011 has disclosed that there had been an enhancement of punishment from five to 10 years of imprisonment for persons who would involve themselves in illegal human organ trade and commercial dealings and the fine from Rs. 10,000 to Rs. 20,000 to a prohibitive range of Rs. 20 lakhs to Rs. 1 crore are all being amended under the Transplantation of Human Organ (Amendment) Act, 2011. The amended legislation will provide for stringent measures to check illegal human organ trade in the territory of India and stop exploitation of the children and poor.


As per to a report by the National Human Rights Commission or NHRC published in the year 2005, it stated that on an average any year there are 44000 children goes missing and out of which 11, 000 numbers of children remain untraced whereas by the report of the same National Human Rights Commission, a substantial connection of illegal human organ trafficking related to some missing children was found in the state of Uttar Pradesh.


2.E ILLEGAL NARCOTIC BUSINESS.

In India, children are often used for narcotic businesses, where children are abducted, kidnapped and trafficked to employ them in illegal drugs or cocaine making laboratories. Traffickers take benefit of emotional instability of the parents and children, trade children into that dark hole from where the children can never return to their homes. If anyone dares to escape, meanwhile, he gets caught by the narcotic traffickers, the punishment is death.


The reason behind such harsh imposition is that if someone gets eloped from the narcotic laboratory and by the time that specific individual discloses the location of the laboratory and the distributary to the police personnel, the huge profit business will be ruined within seconds. It is found that there has an increase rate of child trafficking for the illegal narcotic business during this COVID- 19 pandemic as the smuggling of narcotics have become easier through the borders and through the locality as there as less crowds in the streets. Another reason behind the growth of narcotic business is due to mental distress and mental agony of people because of poverty, unemployment, unstable final condition and inability to meet the basic requirements of daily lifestyle in this COVID- 19 pandemic.


Traffickers require young hands for increase of their production of products. “Younger the hands, more efficiency in work production." Whoever dares to trade children for such misdeed and transgression shall be punished under the said section of 370 of the said Act, 1860.


2.F HUGE DEBT OF PARENTS FROM THE DEBTORS.

Parents keep their children as bonded labors due to their failure in paying of the debt. How long are the children going to suffer because of their parents failure? Due to poverty, unemployment and their addictions, parents lend huge amount of money from the debtors to earn their living with their family, when the time specified ends for the payment of debts, parents cannot pay the debts amount to the debtors, in return, the debtors ask the parents to give their children to them as a bonded labor. But being a bonded labor, the debtors sell those children to the child traffickers, who give them a huge amount of money for selling those children to them. Whoever to traffic mankind must be punished under the said section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860. Sometimes, parents, in the way of clearing all debts, pretentiously, sell their children to the child traffickers who them lots of money for selling of their child.


2.G PICKPOCKETING AND BEGGING: A KIND OF BUSINESS WHICH IS RUN WITH THE HELP OF CHILDREN.

Whoever dares to commit child trafficking for picketing and begging business, must be punished by the appropriate authority of law in the society. Children are used for picketing and begging business because many people are there who helps beggar children by giving them a good tip of money, now if the child begs 16 hours a day, the owner of the said business, earns some money without entailing himself or any effort, in return, the owner pays a meagre sum to the children who have worked hard throughout the day that cannot even bear a person's one time meal. In such offence, everyone knows everything, but hardly anyone steps forward to stop this offence from committing.


2.H UNEMPLOYMENT OF PARENTS.

Wide range of unemployment throughout the country has not only forced people to commit suicide due to poverty but also forced people to that extent where they have to sell their children to the child traffickers. Sometimes, it’s the traffickers who takes the benefit of emotional and mental turmoil of parents and offer them vague assurances, which includes taking their children away from them for jobs so that the family revives. It has been observed that children have been the causes for the effect of actions from their parents.


Children have suffered even died due their parents' failure. How long these heinous atrocities going to occur? The unemployment and poverty is solely due to the failure of the Government in the manner of providing jobs and lack of education. The Indian Government, in lieu of assuring people for their bravery and courageous steps, should work hard in removing poverty and giving ample jobs to each and every family member in the society. During this COVID- 19 situation, there are many who lost their jobs, trafficked their own children and committed suicide. This must be stopped for the sake of mankind and children.


2.I INACCESSIBILITY OF BASIC PUBLIC EDUCATION BY THE PARENTS TO THE CHILDREN

The child traffickers by giving fake promises to the parents, taking benefit of their inability, assures them for better education, jobs, stay, giving assurances, traffic their child or children for various illegal activities. Due to unemployment and penury, parents fail to provide their children a better and healthy life. Whoever commits such offence of human trafficking must be punished under said section 370 and 366A of the said Indian Penal Code, 1860.


The Government have to understand the crisis and prolonged distress of poor people in India. During this COVID- 19 pandemic, providing better public education to the children have been a moon landing urge of the parents. It has become a nightmare of parents. People need to earn money to run their living for the reason they have to be employed.


2.J CHILD TRAFFICKING FROM ORPHAN CARE ORGANIZATIONS

Children are often trafficked from the orphan care homes, who have been organized to take care of the orphan children, due to huge transactions of money with high profits margin, even the orphan organizations traffic children and sell them to the never returning world of misery and sacrifice. A huge illegal trafficking rackets work throughout India which bought many of the orphan homes just to traffic minor children, like an octopus has eight legs, the racket works with more than eight legs for the reason which is why the Government are being able to stop such crime, moreover, bribery, dishonesty and corruption have paralyzed the society more than it was before India's independence, for the reason hapless children are suffering every with hunger and helpless. Trafficking humankind is an offence. It should be stopped with vigorous consequences whoever commits.


2.K TRAFFICKING FOR TERRORISM

Terrorism has been one of chief political issue which is often used by the political parties, making the citizens believe that they are not sitting numb, instead they are active in limiting the offence and crimes in the country. In this due course, a political party even could portray the nationalists as the terrorists, by this motive, it will brainwash people into believing that the territory of India is our and no one can snatch such property from us. However, in lieu of truly wanting to remove the terrorism group from the roots itself, the Government and the Country is busy in advertising his nowhere used bravery and courage.


The terrorists organizations, however, target and traffic children, the reason behind trafficking children is because it is easier to arouse the emotions of false and merciless religious ideologies to children more than to adults. The seeds of aggression and nationalism are sown in a much more repeated way by showing them hatred against any particular religion.


The technology makes the process of brainwash very strong and to be very specific death abiding. When the process is done, the children are pushed and told to die for the religion and the messiah of such religion. A bomb blast, will then, showcase the reason for dying the children, where many other children may die due to the effect. Children are trafficked from Nepal, Bhutan, Myanmar, Pakistan, et cetera and involve them for terrorist activities.


The Government in lieu of killing the terrorists and showing their skills, must stop human trafficking and keep a constant visit to uproot the causes of terrorism via child trafficking. People will only believe upon the Government when such methods would be applied to remote insecurities.


WHAT ARE THE MEASURES TO CONSTRAINT CHILD TRAFFICKING IN INDIA?

The measures to restraint the offence of child trafficking in India are chronologically stated in seriatim:

(A)Increase the awareness of the offence by educating the society and community,


(B) Strict laws enforcement agencies needed to curb child trafficking in India,


(C) Child labor should be banned in the country basing upon which the security personnel should bring brutal consequences who will be found involving in any kind of child trafficking,


(D) Separate Investigating Agencies are required to remove the growing rate of traffickers,


(E) Normal citizens have to take the initiative and report to the security personnel if any trafficking racket activity found visible and noticeable to them,


(F) Educating children about child trafficking legislations, CHILDLINE help care and how the traffickers negotiate with children to traffic and kidnap them,


(G) Sharing the awareness of child trafficking and stay upgraded,


(H) Swift Justice delivery system required for the quick disposal of the cases,


(I) Traffickers should be charged under the legislations passed by the Indian Parliament and deny taking bribery from the traffickers and trafficking organizations,


(J) Non Governmental Organizations or NGOs such as Prerana, Prajawala India, Impulse NGO Network, Missing, Guria India, Free A Girl India, Rescue Foundation, etc must keep a constant vigil and prevent causing of child trafficking in India,


(K) List of United Nations Agencies, NGOs, Programmes which should uproot the offence of child trafficking are in seriatim:

  • Child Workers in Asia,

  • Free the Children India,

  • Free the Children,

  • Free the Slaves,

  • Amnesty International,

  • ILO – International Programme of the Elimination of Child Labour.


INCIDENTS OF CHILD TRAFFICKING IN INDIA.

In Udaipur, Rajasthan, 23rd July, 2020, it was around 6:30 pm, the police personnel got a tip that 10 children have been found on three buses which left from Gorunda Block for Surat and Rajkot. The team have been able to rescue only 2 children from the first bus and few more from the second bus as well.


In the year, 1998 approximately 7000 Nepalese minor girls who age was nearly 9 to 10 years were trafficked into the Red Light Districts of several Indian States, but it was later found that more than 2, 50, 000 numbers of Nepalese minor girls and women were inside the brothels.


The investigating team in West Bengal found a 15 years old girl who had been missing since a trafficker might have befriended her using emotional instability of the girl, while the Anti Trafficking Unit working in the area believe that she might have been enticed to Delhi, the place well known for the child traffickers.


In 2020, 6 traffickers have been arrested by the Maharashtra Police including 5 women who had been actively operating a child trafficking racket whereas a 4 year old girl has also been rescued by the Maharashtra Police.


In September, 2020, 14 children were rescued by the Railway Unit of the Delhi Police, who were brought to Delhi from Bihar in the Mahananda Express, while 10 the said Police arrested 10 people during the rescue operation.



In February, 2020, a woman from Hyderabad alleged before the Police that her daughter has been trafficked to Oman by a local agent on the pretext of giving her employment.


National children help dial 1098, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year free emergency phone service for children in need of aid and assistance.


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