Poverty-struck parents pay traffickers to get kids jobs in brick kilns
Human traffickers have hitherto targeted vulnerable families from Bihar and UP to traffic women and children to various states across India. But now in a role reversal of sorts, a new trend has emerged, wherein parents coordinate with traffickers and pay them money to send their children to work in brick kilns, embroidery units, and bangle making factories in Rajasthan and Banglore.
This trend was noticed after NGO workers from Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre (JAC) Society, had noticed that after rescuing children from their pitiable conditions and producing them before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC), within 24 hours their parents would reach Delhi, after being tipped off by the traffickers. The parents then claim that their children were never trafficked and the accused go scot free.
Deepshika, a senior manager at Institute of Juvenile Justice (Prayas), has claimed that many of these parents chose to send their children to various states and pay a hefty amount to the traffickers to get their children work. "The traffickers usually go by the names of 'Aunty' and 'Cousin' and get in touch with the parents. After they are trafficked and eventually rescued, the accused get in touch with the parents and send them to Delhi. The parents deny that their children were trafficked and the accused go scot free".
However, when the time for payment comes the traffickers deduct the salary of their children and pay for their initial procurement price.
Further, a new trend in the trafficking routes has emerged, as the destination city for the trafficked woman and children has shifted to Rajasthan and Banglore.
Delhi continues to be a transit point for traffickers who use the cover of a floating population and connectivity to other states to traffic woman and children from Bihar, Uttar Pradesh to Rajasthan.
"This is just the tip of the iceberg as the triangular movement of children in the states of Bihar, Delhi and Rajasthan is becoming organised," said Amod Kanth, General Secretary, Prayas .
The reason for Rajasthan's name cropping up in cases relating to child trafficking is due to the fact that several embroidery making units and bangle making factories have mushroomed in Jaipur, requiring children's pocket-sized hands to work on the embroidery.
Many of the trafficked woman and children, also then make their way into the southern state of Karnataka to works as domestic maids, as the burgeoning migrant population provides easy cover for traffickers. Akhil, the manager with Geneva Global, a partner coordinating with Parayas, had seen this trend emerge in the last two months. "The major hubs of trafficking remain Bihar's Samastipur and Gaya districts. In Gaya, there are several Buddhist monasteries and many people beg there during festival times, but after the festival, they send their children to Delhi and are eventually trafficked to Rajasthan to work in brick kilns, embroidery making factories etc," he said.
According to data provided by Prayas, around 1582 woman and children have been rescued between 2014-16. Out of this, an overwhelming majority of victims were from Bihar: 1200. When they looked at the age distribution, they found that 53 per cent of victims' were in the age group of 14-18 years, 35 per cent between 10-13 years and the rest comprised of victims in the 6-9 age bracket.