64 minors rescued from 7 placement agencies


In one of the biggest rescue operations, 84 girls and boys, including 64 minors were rescued from seven different placement agencies in north Delhi’s Shakurpur. Of them, 54 were girls. The rescue operation was conducted by the joint team of Jharkhand and Delhi police and Shakti Vahini NGO.

The Delhi Police have detained seven persons to investigate into how the girls were trafficked from different parts of the country. “The raid was planned after a tip-off. A recce was done recently in 24 placement agencies in Delhi jointly by the Jharkhand police team and Shakti Vahini,” Rishikant of the NGO said.

During the two-day investigation, the team of Jharkhand police identified 24 placement agencies, who allegedly brought children from Jharkhand to the Capital, to employ them as domestic helps. The victims rescued belong to the states like Jharkhand, West Bengal, Chattisgarh, Orissa and Assam.

“These illegal placement agencies are mushrooming in the city, an issue which needs to be addressed fast,” Rishikant added.

One special court for human trafficking


MUMBAI: The hope for justice for women that is resounding around the country may stay unrealised unless the government infuses resources into the fight. Activists point out that while the law mandates a special court in every district for cases of human trafficking, Maharashtra at present has just one magistrate to try such crimes. This paucity of special courts, activists argue, impedes swift disposal of trafficking cases and conviction rates.

Dr S Anand of the NGO Save the Children notes that India is the “source, transit route and destination of human trafficking”. In Maharashtra, he says, the “source area” of human trafficking is villages, but these regions lack designated courts to deal with the offence. Only Mumbai has a special court for trials related to Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

Save the Children has been working to prevent human trafficking in “source areas”, where communities are vulnerable and ignorant of the issue. “Either police or the prosecution does not present the facts of the case properly. Thus, few convictions take place,” says Dr Anand.

Activists concede that the government has taken positive measures towards rescue of children and women. “Trafficking does not happen only for flesh trade. The objectives behind the crime also are organ donation and cheap labour. While the government has applied curative measures by rescuing women from brothels, work in the preventive sense is needed,” says Nandini Thakkar, a lawyer and an activist with Save the Children.

Thakkar adds that the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, which was introduced to prevent commercial sexual exploitation, states the need for special courts in relevant districts. But till now, there is one such court in the state. “Convictions and acquittals in such matters is a long-drawn process. Without proper authority, these cases go unnoticed,” she explains.

Advocate S N Raj concludes, “The presence of just one special court for PITA cases in Mumbai does cause protraction of trials.”

2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 53,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 12 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

India Must Ban Child Labor


Pressure is mounting on the Indian Parliament to end child labour after 150,000 Indians signed an abolition petition demanding an immediate change in the child labour laws. The petition follows the recent revelation of slave labour conditions under which young children of eight and nine were making Christmas decorations. Currently dangerous work is outlawed in India — but there is no blanket ban yet on child labour under the age of fourteen. As a result India accounts for some of the worst excesses in global child labour; overall fifteen million children worldwide work full time when they should be at school.

This week the children who escaped slave conditions have spoken of their fate and about their ambitions for the future. During their horrific ordeal they were trafficked, exploited, imprisoned and denied food and their stories underline the urgent action needed to end child labour. They would still be making tree decorations and other trinkets but for the courageous rescue carried out by Kailash Satyarthi and his co-leaders of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and Global March Against Child Labour (GMACL).

Their captors were slave masters who had them trafficked from Indian provinces. Often their parents were tricked into believing they were leaving to be given free education.

Their stories, recounted in a new film published on our website EducationEnvoy.org, reveal a pattern of child abuse. The first child featured on the film is eleven year old Rahim from Malman Nagariain. From the moment he boarded a train to India’s capital he became a prisoner and was eventually confined to a dark and dingy sweatshop in LNJP colony. He was forced to work 18 hours a day with only two recesses of ten minutes each for eating. He was never allowed to leave the premises and had to cook food for himself and his employer inside the sweatshop. He was often scolded and hit for being slow at work. His employer did not pay him a single rupee for his work despite being promised INR1500 per month. Now free he wants to study hard and become a soldier.

Imran is eleven and hails from the Katihar district in Bihar. He was indentured to an employer who promised he could send home money to support his family. In the asphyxiating sweatshop, which also doubled up as his living quarters, Imran had to work 14 hours a day. While he produced quality Christmas ornaments and gifts for export, he was never paid anything.

Imran will find it difficult to recover from his ordeal as his health suffered having to spend endless hours inhaling chemicals and adhesives. Though he is now free from the shackles of slavery and wants to go to school, the injuries he endured may be lasting, standing in the way of his ambition to be a teacher. He feels strongly that no child should experience what he went through.

Aslam, twelve, is a native of Sipur village, Azam Nagar in the Katihar district. Despite being promised a good education he too ended up in the same dingy sweatshop in Delhi. Like the other rescued children he worked very long days, sleeping in the same room where he worked. He was never paid a single rupee. Interestingly he too now wants to be a teacher.

Abdul came from the same village as Aslam. His parents sold him after they were promised their son would receive training to help him get a job. Instead he worked from 10am until midnight every day for months. He is now at BBA’s transit Mukti Ashram rehabilitation centre whilst the legal formalities of his repatriation are completed so he can go home. Like Rahim, he wants to be soldier when he grows up.

These boys tell similar stories — from when they were trafficked through to being eventually rescued — but they are only four of around fifteen million children not at school because they are forced to work.

Only a bold change in the law and the policing of it will change the plight of these child slaves. So when the Indian parliament reconvenes in February, the Global March Against Child Labour is seeking a change in the law which bans forever child labour under fourteen and restricts the minimum age to eighteen. The bill has been drafted. Politicians of all parties support it. It just needs the time required to be heard in Parliament so it can be voted through and passed into law.

Join us at EducationEnvoy.org in demanding the Indian people finally abolish child labour. Children should be putting up decorations not making them; the only work they should be doing is school work.

Let’s make 2013 the year child labour is consigned to history.

Names have been changed in this article for the protection of those concerned.

Former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom; UN Special Envoy for Global Education

SSB committed to check human trafficking’


MOTIHARI: Deputy commandant of 13th battalion of Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) R K Sinha on Friday said that human trafficking is the worst form of violation of human rights and the SSB deployed on porous Indo-Nepal border are committed to check this menace. Human trafficking is now the second largest criminal enterprise in the world after drug and he urged the people of bordering areas to give them help to curb this criminal act. He suggested increasing awareness among people about this crime. He was inaugurating a work-shop on ‘human-trafficking on Indo-Nepal border` at Raxaul on Friday organized by Janjagaran Sansthan .He suggested good coordination between police , SSB , administration and social workers to fight the malady .

Arpana Singh, member of the Bihar Child Rights Protection Commission said prevention, prosecution, protection and rehabilitation are needed to curb human trafficking. Sensitizing the police and para-military, judicial officials and others is necessary so that the victim girls or boys are treated honourably and not as a criminal. Fanindra Nepal, representative of an NGO of Nepal said thousands of girls are being trafficked from Nepal per year through Bihar and are pushed into flesh trade in different cities of India and abroad even in Middle East and this open border makes this trade easier. Rimjhim Kumari, a social worker said Bihar has got a dubious distinction in the sphere of human trafficking and Raxaul has become the main transit point for trafficking of girls from Nepal.

Raxaul DSP Jitendra Pandey called upon the police officers to be sensitive while dealing with matters like human trafficking.

Flesh trade racket busted- three Bangladeshis held


Police today claimed to have busted an international human trafficking racket being operated from Musheerabad here by arresting four persons, including three Bangladeshis, for allegedly tricking as many compatriot women into prostitution.

Acting on a tip-off, Commissioner’s Task Force (North Zone) Team raided a building at Bapuji Nagar and apprehended three Bangladeshi nationals — Shamim Hossain, Raj Mondal, and one Bangladeshi woman — who were running the prostitution racket, police said, adding they also picked up one customer from West Bengal — Bapi Ghosh.

To earn easy money, the Bangladeshi woman, who earlier worked as a sex worker, hatched a plan with Hossain to run a brothel business with the help of Mondal and in the process they brought three Bangladeshi women aged between 14-25 years and pushed them into flesh trade, police said.

“All the three rescued sex workers are Bangladeshi nationals and have been brought to India for human trafficking. They are staying illegally at Hyderabad without any valid passport or visa,” they said.According to police, Mondal opened a clinic at Charminar and was attracting customers in the garb of treating various sexual diseases and they were seduced and sent to their prostitution business.Mondal, who posed as a “doctor”, did not hold any official degree in allopathy, ayurveda, unani or homeopathy, they said.During interrogation, it further came to light that the Bangladeshi accused took help of some brokers on porous Indo- Bangladesh border to give passage to sex workers into India, a police department release claimed.

Two held for trafficking girls to Delhi


GUWAHATI: The Hatigaon Police on Saturday night nabbed two men from the area who are involved in a human trafficking racket. The arrested duo – Md Abdul Rashid (19) of Dhubri district and Rafiqul Islam (18) of Mangaldoi – were charged with selling two girls from the Hatigaon area in New Delhi.

According to the police, Rashid and Islam, who were working at a construction site, eloped with two girls to New Delhi last month, promising them they would get married there. “However, after reaching New Delhi, they sold the girls to a man named Raju. Then they again came back to the city to repeat the crime. One of them had already managed to get another girl to fall in love with him and was planning to leave the city soon with her,” said a policeman at Hatigaon PS.

According to the mother of one of the trafficked girls, her daughter called home a few days back and informed her about the matter.”My daughter called me and said how these two men betrayed her and the other girl in the name of love. I knew the two men for some time and complained to the police. Now I want the police to rescue my daughter and her friend from those flesh traders,” said the mother of the victim.

The city police said they have already informed their New Delhi counterparts and asked them to rescue the girls. “We have alerted Delhi Police about the matter and the girls’ photographs have been sent to them too,” added the police.