Countering Trafficking Worldwide and Child Trafficking
India is a country which has many children and people who need to be saved from trafficking, the politicians are criticised by much of the people and media for not doing enough for the poor and vulnerable in states such as Bihar and Delhi.
Statistics suggest that 300 million children from the ages of 0-14 make up a little more than one third of India’s population.
Raids take place 3-4 times a month as reported by The Guardian with Police officers often getting injured; the government has tried to counter the trafficking with laws such as ‘The immoral Trafic Prevention Act’ which refers to trafficking for prostitution, as for the protection of Children – there’s the new Juvenille Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act implemented since 2000 and anyone under the age of eighteen is considered as a child.
India also has the Child Labour Prohibition and Regulation Act. With money being spent on free education programmes for the poor and ensuring that the best interests of the child is being served with people to watch over them and their progress.
America and the United Nations are also participating in counter-acting trafficking, the UN has a convention ‘against Trans-national Organised Crime’ (the Palermo Protocol) that India is implementing with aims of prevention, suppressing and punishing traffickers although they are still to ratify it. India have been advertising about Child Trafficking and also warning people departing the country about exploitation.
America has defined trafficking and has been producing reports called Traffic in Persons on 170 countries and their efforts in combating trafficking. They have provided a definition for trafficking with a table which one of the criteria’s has to be met from each section to have a case defined as trafficking: Section 1 Process: Recruitment / Transportation / Transferring / Harboring / or Receiving. Section 2 Way/Means: Threat / Coercion / Abduction / Fraud / Deceit / Abuse of Power / or Deception. Section 3 Goal: Exploitation (violent or sexual) / Prostitution / Pornography / Forced Labour / Involuntary servitude / Debt bondage (with unfair wages) / or Slavery (similar practices).
America have different tiers of requirements to be met with such as how well countries are doing in terms of trafficking, they are then placed under Tier1, Tier2, Tier2 watch list (which is what India is under) and Tier3 (where the US can put certain types of trade sanctions on countries as they are not doing enough to counter trafficking). The report has many recommendations for India – one of them being to “improve central and state government implementation of protection programs and compensation schemes – to ensure trafficking victims receive benefits to which they are entitled under national and state law.”
The report also gives an example of an Indian child who was trafficked and her unfortunate and shocking experience – “Ten year-old Shanti from Ajmer, Rajasthan was trafficked to New Delhi, with seven children from her village, when she was seven years old. She was forced to beg from eight in the morning until 11 in the evening, to tear her clothes and to avoid bathing for months. She was given only one meal a day so that she would look thin and malnourished and elicit more money from the passers-by. She and 12 other children showing signs of physical abuse were rescued in a raid.”
The BBC have reported that of “the eight million children the International Labour Organisation estimates are involved in forced labour worldwide, more than a million have been trafficked, many of them in India.”
India’s monthly raids often find 200-300 children, they are trafficked inside and outside the country, some of the children are made to deal drugs, the traffickers recruit from poor states under the shocking title of employment agencies, some children are placed in countries and states where they are worked up to 12-13 hours and where they don’t speak the language. They often don’t have food to eat, the traffickers promise the children money and the parents often think that their children will be able to provide not only for themselves but also for their families – this is sadly not the case as the children often don’t get paid (in such an abhorrent yet lucrative trade) and are forced to starve and live in worse conditions from where they lived. They are often exposed to abuse sexual and violent, internationally and nationally.
An example of International awareness growing was in the form of the film Slum-dog millionaire which also highlighted not only the conditions that children live in but also their vulnerability; The News of The World was under the limelight after it ran a story about one of the child stars of the film willing to be sold by her Father – which was contested and the Police later dropped the case – the Editors said there was an aim to highlight the danger of children being trafficked.
India now need to get themselves of the watch list with the help of politicians with new laws and legislation and improved conditions for children with educational help. Issues of child protection and child trafficking are far from the agenda and have to be on the agenda for them to successfully stop trafficking. There are many people and children who live in impoverished conditions and the government has to help to protect and improve their plight. The traffickers have to be targeted and people/children have to be seen as respected, equal and important providing them with support and making a better future for India’s families.