The Kathua and the Unnao incidents have left the people of the nation stun. The anger was spilled on the roads, with candle marches being carried-out to support the victim’s family. The collapse of the law and order, and the failure to protect the lives of the innocents has raised many questions on the women security, major being ‘Has anything changed since Nirbhaya?’. In the fraction of every minute, such abuse is being reported all over the country. Many of the times such abuse remained unreported, unprinted, unheard by its “TRP” game.
Sexual abuse of children has seen a sharp increase in India, with such cases being reported in large number. According to UNICEF, child trafficking is defined as, “Any person under 18 who is recruited, transported, transferred, harboured or received for the purpose of exploitation, either within or outside a country”. The International Labour Organization estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked each year, though the appropriate number of trafficking are difficult to obtain. According to a report published by the U.S. Department of State, “India is a source, destination and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labor and sex trafficking…The majority of India’s trafficking problem is internal, and those from the most disadvantaged social strata- lowest caste Dalits, members of tribal communities, religious minorities and women and girls from excluded groups – are most vulnerable.”
Child trafficking has now become a major problem for India. As said above, India now becomes a source and the destination for child traffickers. Child trafficking generally happens either for sex trade or for child labor. United Nations Office on Drug and Crime (UNODC) has revealed that 27 percent of all victims of human trafficking are children which was detected globally between the year 2007-2010. According to the National Crime Records Bureau, children are trafficked for various reasons such as labour, begging, and sexual exploitation. The unemployment rate in India is seeing a rapid hike which each passing day, and with financial opportunities coming down, parents, to get out of poverty or debt, chooses to sell their children to traffickers.
Children are often trafficked by gangs and forced to beg on the streets. In some parts of India, young girls are compelled into the system on Devadasi where they’re “forced into a lifetime of ritual sex slavery” and lot of children have been trafficked in order to fulfill the demands of tourists. “Approximately, 600,000 to 800,000 victims are trafficked across international borders annually. Between 14,500 and 17,500 of those victims are trafficked into the United States each year. More than half of these victims worldwide are children!” – Child Victims of Human Trafficking, Department of Health and Human Services, USA and the U.S. Department of State.
Human trafficking is the third largest profitable industry in the world. Child trafficking is found in both developed and developing nations. Trafficked children are used for prostitution, cheap or unpaid labor, for sport and organ harvesting. Child prostitution has the highest supply of trafficked children. Majority of the trafficking is within the country, but there are also a large number of trafficked people from Nepal and Bangladesh. Thousands of girls are trafficked from Bangladesh and Nepal. According to a report, about 200,000 Nepalese girls under 16 years are in prostitution in India.
India has legal provisions to counter trafficking as per the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act 1986, but still, it is not so effective. NGOs are trying to create safe spaces by providing education in order to engage the children with their studies. This is the only way that can keep children away from child traffickers. It is an initiative that can prevent trafficking. The MWCD has taken a number of initiatives to combat trafficking of Women and Children.