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Child Trafficking In India: WhatsApp Rumors Aside, The Terror is Real

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there were 14,183 children who were victims of human trafficking in 2016 — a 27 per cent increase as compared to the previous year.

Mayank Mohanti | News18.com

Updated:July 3, 2018, 10:59 PM IST
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Child Trafficking In India: WhatsApp Rumors Aside, The Terror is Real
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New Delhi: In a string of lynchings tied to fake WhatsApp messages, at least 31 people have died across more than 10 states in India. Attached to all of these incidents is one common cause: the fear of child trafficking.

While the government is mulling over what to do and the local authorities are issuing warnings and hiring street performers to spread public awareness against fake news, there’s a fear lurking within the public. And that fear is protecting their children against child traffickers — one that is driving them to mob justice.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), there were 14,183 children who were victims of human trafficking in 2016 — a 27 per cent increase as compared to the previous year.

Additionally, a staggering 59 per cent of the total number of humans trafficked in 2016 were children below 18 years, NCRB data showed.

Rajasthan (5,626) accounted for the highest number of victims of child trafficking, followed by Madhya Pradesh (2,653) and West Bengal (2,216).

The actual figure, however, could be much higher as many victims would still not register cases with the police, largely because they did not know the law or feared traffickers. Another big area of concern is the gender skewing of the trafficked and missing children. Of the 63,407 children who went missing in the year 2016, 41,067 were female. They account for 65 per cent of the total number of missing children. Moreover, 48,162 missing children from the previous years were yet to traced by the police. Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal account for more than 8,000 missing children, followed by Bihar (4,817), Tamil Nadu (4,632), and Maharashtra (4,388).

Traffickers lure thousands of poor, rural women and children to towns and cities promising good jobs and sell them into the modern day slavery.

According to the 2016 NCRB data, 45 per cent of the children ended up as forced labourers — as domestic workers or in small industries such as textile and firecracker workshops.

Another, 35 per cent of them were trafficked for sexual exploitation; 4,980 of which were sold to brothels and another 162 for child pornography.

The increasing percentage of trafficking of children for domestic slavery could be attributed to the rising demand for domestic maids. The lack of law enforcement and large-scale poverty, illiteracy and the remoteness of the villages have further compounded to child trafficking. Such distressing is the situation that the United States placed India in Tier 2 category in its annual report on human trafficking, urging India to increase prosecutions and convictions for all forms of trafficking, including forced and bonded labour, and to prosecute officials allegedly complicit in it.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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