Illegal Placement Agencies Work as Front for Sex Slaves

998a71ec-dfbb-4605-a00d-ebc1d39a81ec

BY EXPRESS NEWS SERVICE PUBLISHED IN THE SUNDAY STANDARD

NEW DELHI: Indian investigators looking into the human trafficking ring from Nepal zeroed in on a curious fact. The girls who fetch the highest prices, come from Melchi village and a Sindhupal Chowk town, around 100 kilometers from Kathmandu. The doe eyes, fair skinned girls from Melchi belongs to the Tawang Gurung caste, and are in great demand. From Sindhupal they are brought to Kathmandu on the pretext of getiing jobs and better life in India. To avoid detection by enforcement agencies, they are then moved to Kakarbita, approximately 250 kms from Kathmandu.

“They have changed their modus operandi. Girls are being brought through Siliguri instead of Sonauli in Uttar Pradesh. For Bangladeshi girls,  Guwahati is the transit point and the girls are sent to Paltan Bazar before boarding a train at Rangiya railway station which connects to Chennai and Mumbai. Recently, 60 Bangaladeshi girls were rescued from Rangiya station,” the officials said.

Investigators confirm that the mushrooming of illegal placement agencies play a key role in the thriving human trafficking industry in India.

A document, in possession of The Sunday Standard, reveals details about Nepalese girls rescued from various parts of India.  On July 14, Seema (name changed) was rescued from a hotel in Delhi’s Karol Bagh area. She belongs to Jhapa, a poor district of Nepal. Parsa, Makwanpur, Chitwan, Sindhuli, Arghakhanchi, too, are known to be major source of human trafficking. The tribal areas of Gumla, Lohardaga, Khunti and Simdega of Jharkhand and Jalpaiguri, Cooch Behar, Malda, North 24 Parganas and South 24 Parganas in West Bengal are the hubs of this fastest growing criminal enterprise.

Some big time traffickers have tied up with hotels and bedsits in Middle East cities, while some of them even own property to enable prospective victims to get work visas, and  are then trafficked.

Illegal Placeme

Like it has been discovered in the Majid rape case, a lot of the trafficking is done by placement agencies that are a front for organised crime syndicates. In Delhi, 462 placement agencies are registered with the  government, but more than 1,000 of them are running illegally. They are spread all over the city and operate from one room offices in unauthorised colonies. They have a wide network in West Bengal, Assam, Jharkhand, Nepal and Bangladesh.

Their targets are victims from sub-poor families, who are shown a rosy picture of life in Delhi and the Middle East countries to gain their confidence. The traffickers have penetrated the remotest of villages in Eastern India and Nepal, which are the worst hit by poverty and hunger.

Once the girls fall into their trap, they are tortured and forced to have sex with hundreds of men until they are “broken.” A grim humour pervades this brutal business.

“Strangely, 75 per cent of traffickers are nicknamed Raju or Raja, whether the girls being trafficked are from a remote Nepal village or from Jharkhand,” says a Delhi police officer.

Sex trafficking is a booming $120 billion global criminal industry and an estimated 8,00,000 women and children are trafficked across international borders for sexual exploitation every year. A girl sold to a brothel in India fetches between Rs 1 to Rs 3 lakh. But they fetch a better price in the Middle East, with the traffickers getting paid between Rs 6 to Rs 12 lakh a girl.

Hence, the lure of smuggling sex slaves abroad. The criminal human chain starts with a local agent who lures the victims from home for Rs 5,000 to Rs 10,000 per woman as their commission. The trafficker earns more than Rs 2 lakh with a single female. “This dirty business runs into thousands of crore,” says a senior Delhi cop.

According to a UN report, 79 per cent of total female trafficking is bound for sexual slave market followed by forced labour (18 per cent).

The parents of the girls are paid just Rs 10,000 with the promise that every month the same amount of money will be delivered to them.

Which, of course, never happens.Parents of a Nepalese girl who was rescued from Chandigarh had told investigators that they were paid Rs 5,000 by a Nepali middleman. They were promised aid of Rs 4,000 every month saying that their 14-year -old daughter will also be able to go to school while working in India.

The parents had approached authorities after there was no news from her nor any sign of the money.

“Victims fall into the sex trap because of various reasons including illiteracy, poverty, family conflict and lack of awareness,” says the officer, adding that India’s sex industry itself includes over 15 lakh women.

Advertisements

Photos of cops involved in sex racket released

Published in The Times of India

PUDUCHERRY: The Crime Branch – Criminal Investigation Department of the Puducherry police on Tuesday released photographs of six former policemen, who were allegedly involved in a child prostitution racket, after they failed to surrender despite warnings. The investigation agency sought help from human rights and child rights activists to alert them immediately if they spot these former policemen. Nine former policemen were booked in this case. Three of them — former sub-inspector V Balakrishnan and former police constables M Selvakumar and G Sankar surrendered before the agency on Saturday. They were remanded in judicial custody.

However, six more former policemen — V Yuvaraj and T Sundar, A Anusa Basha, B Kumaravel, G Pandarinathan and V Rajaram did not surrender despite warning, forcing the agency to release their photographs in an effort to nab them. “We released their photographs at 12pm on Tuesday. We are confident of receiving vital information that will lead to their arrest. We will nab them soon. The agency has so far arrested 12 people and rescued four minor girls. These six former policemen are only people wanted in the case. We will file a chargesheet soon and arrest them,” said superintendent of police (CB-CID) S Venkatasamy. The SP did not rule out the possibility of the agency unearthing the involvement of more people in this case.

The agency had earlier announced reward for information leading to their arrest. The SP assured that the identity of the informers will not be revealed.

Police busted a child prostitution racket in May last year following a tip from a child welfare committee and Childline. Police arrested 12 people, including four pimps – K Pushpa, 43 from Thavalakuppam, S Raghu alias Rahman Khan, 29, from Tindivanam, M Manickam, 22, from Anumanthai and S Arul Mary, 73, from Savirirayalu Street and rescued four minor girls. All the accused including the nine former policemen were booked under Sections 4 (punishment for penetrative sex assault), 6 (punishment for aggravated penetrative sex assault) and 16 (abetment of an offence) of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (Pocso) Act, and Sections 3 (punishment for keeping a brothel or allowing the premises to be used as a brothel), 5 (procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of prostitution) and 7 (prostitution in or in the vicinity of public place) of the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and Section 376 (punishment for rape) of the IPC.

After Supreme Court order, Chhattisgarh cops form special teams to trace missing children

2014_10image_13_13_483818000humantrafficking-ll

RASHMI DROLIA IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

RAIPUR: With Supreme Court directing Chhattisgarh government to trace missing children within a month, state police rushed to form special teams to find trafficked children from different parts of country.

On November 13, the apex court had summoned Madhya Pradesh chief secretary for failing in finding missing kids and ordered Bihar and Chhattisgarh government to trace children who went missing between January 2011 and May 2014.

According to police, there are nearly 1,500 children including girls who went missing during this tenure.

TOI has consistently reported on huge number of children going missing everyday from state capital and other parts of Chhattisgarh for domestic slavery, flesh trade, begging, forced marriages and slavery. Appalling variations were also found in data produced under Right to Information Act with number of missing children from various departments including police headquarters, district crime records bureau and CID.

In its several investigations, TOI found that Chhattisgarh lacks missing children squad or active child tracking system which is supposed to act swiftly once a child goes missing.

Talking to TOI, officer on special duty, CID (child cell) PN Tiwari said special teams were being formed at police station level and SPs in all districts have been pressed into action to do 100% verification and identification of missing children.

“Finding out if the children were kidnapped, trafficked, pushed into begging or prostitution is the primary job in order to trace them. SPs and their special teams are trying to figure out their location by interrogating their parents,” Tiwari said.

Official sources said that amid all the uproar after Supreme Court’s order and Global Slavery Index report, police teams from Farsabahar in Jashpur were sent to New Delhi to trace 10 children who were allegedly trafficked for domestic slavery by placement agencies.

Police may catch a few traffickers after raiding placement agencies in Delhi.

“Across India’s population of over 1.2 billion people, all forms of modern slavery, including inter-generational bonded labour, trafficking for sexual exploitation and forced marriage, exist. Evidence suggests that members of lower strata mainly women and children being recruited with promises of non-existent jobs and later sold for sexual exploitation, or forced into sham marriages. Recent reports suggest that one child goes missing every eight minutes; it is feared that some are sold into forced begging, domestic work, and commercial sexual exploitation,” the Global Slavery Index report said.

When contacted, Rishikant of Delhi based NGO Shakti Vahini which has been working with Chhattisgarh police for rescuing children, said, “It should come forth as a joint effort from locals and citizens who need to update police with any minor information they have which would help in finding untraced children.”

Supreme Court had passed a slew of directions on a PIL filed by NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan alleging that over 1.7 lakh children have gone missing in the country between January 2008-2010, many of whom were kidnapped for trafficking in flesh trade and child labour.

Kept as sex slave in Gujarat, Jabalpur woman wriggles out of hellhole

TIMES OF INDIA

BHOPAL: Madhya Pradesh police arrested a couple who sold a woman in Gujarat where she was kept as a sex slave. Accused Ritesh Barman and wife Mona, are residents of Gorakhpur area in Jabalpur district. They confessed to having sold the 35-year-old woman to one ‘Popet Bhai’ in Gujarat for Rs 1.25 lakh.

Popet sold her to a Patel family in Junagarh for Rs 1.80 lakh. She was kept hostage and repeatedly raped, besides being forced to work as bonded labour. She wriggled out of their clutches and reached Jabalpur on October 23.

On October 29, when two people came to Jabalpur and tried to kidnap her, she went to the police and narrated her ordeal. The rape survivor alleged she was raped by one Bhawan Patel, Vallabh Patel and other members of the family.

Police said, she was a mother of two and was working as a domestic help in Jabalpur. The Barman couple took her to Gujarat, promising better pay. During interrogation, police found more girls had been trafficked from the state and sold in Gurajat by Popet Bhai. Teams have been dispatched to Gujarat to arrest him. A case has been lodged against five people, including Popet.

Most rescued childeren are never rehabilitated

Most rescued childeren are never rehabilitated

Most rescued childeren are never rehabilitated

PRERNA SODHI IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

NEW DELHI: The teenage help who was rescued from a Dwarka apartment in March is now enrolled in a school in Jharkhand. She has received her wage arrears, besides support from the state. But hers is an exceptional story of rehabilitation. Experts say most trafficked children, even when rescued, lead bleak lives.

Take the case of two girls — aged 12 and 13 — who were brought to Delhi a year ago and sexually assaulted at a placement agency. After their rescue, they were sent to a shelter home in West Bengal, and have not received any significant help.

Experts say care and aid are lavished on victims only after their cases grab media attention. Generally, though, rescued children get trapped in procedural hurdles. The luckier ones are ‘reunited’ with their families but not rehabilitated and, occasionally, children even slip back into the hands of traffickers.

Rishikant, an activist from NGO Shakti Vahini, said, “We get many complaints and some of the offences are grave. The state machinery moves when a case gets highlighted. In most cases, the child welfare committees (CWCs) merely dump the children back home without follow-up,” he said. The chairperson of the Lajpat Nagar CWC said, “Reuniting does not mean rehabilitation.” Shakti Vahini claims that of the 200 children it rescued last year, none has been properly rehabilitated.

In most cases, delays occur due to poor inter-state coordination. “The authorities here are not so concerned as 90% of the cases are from other states. Their attitude is that the other state has to take care of them,” said CWC chairperson Raaj Mangal Prasad. It is also observed that the CWCs of the other states are not so zealous in their work.

Rishi Kant, another Shakti Vahini member, said this hampers follow-up action. “The CWC might pass orders in the city and, to an extent, also recover children’s due wages, but it becomes difficult to follow up on a case on a day-to-day basis.” He suggests that the labour department should act as an intermediary between source states and cities from where children are rescued.

The director for policy and research at Child Rights and You (CRY), Vijaylakshmi Arora, said lack of manpower is another important hurdle in rehabilitation. “If you go to the district level or the CWCs, you don’t find much manpower. It is usually one man taking care of 50 cases. That ratio has to be improved.”

Arora said a system needs to be in place to track each and every child’s case separately “as each child’s case is different and the factors for trafficking are different. This will also keep tabs on children who have been re-trafficked; at present there is no system to monitor that.”

While lack of manpower and poor interstate coordination hinder the process of rehabilitation, Prasad said transferring the monitoring of child labour to the department of women and child development will help. “The Child Labour Act that falls under the labour department does not look into the rehabilitation of a child; this is done by the Juvenile Justice Act that is the responsibility of the department of women and child development,” he said, adding, “Shifting the child labour issue to them would speed up the process”.

PRERNA SODHI IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

Apparel exports sector working to remove ‘child labour’ taint

India‘s $14-billion apparel export sector and the Textiles Ministry have begun an initiative to help manufacturers focus on good work practices and prevention of child and trafficked/forced labour. This is part of their efforts to improve India’s image as an ‘ethical sourcing destination’. Significantly, the development follows blacklisting of the sector by countries such as the US and multinational chains (such as Gap Inc, Walmart, Tesco, H&M, Mothercare, C&A and Primark) on the grounds of products being made in units using forced / bonded / child labour.

For instance, the US Department of Labour continues to include India’s apparel export sector under its ‘Executive Order 13126′ List on the “Prohibition of Acquisition of Products Produced by Forced or Indentured Child Labour.”The sector was also listed in the US Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorisation Act meant to combat forced / child labour in foreign countries. The EU also has norms against export of products made using child/forced labour. The US and the EU account for 80 per cent of India’s apparel exports.

In a bid to remove the taint, the Apparel Export Promotion Council has started implementing a pilot programme called ‘DISHA’, or Driving Industry towards Sustainable Human capital Advancement. The Textile Ministry is the main funding source for the DISHA programme.Efforts began on Thursday to constitute a stakeholder forum including international organisations, NGOs, trade unions, third-party accreditation agencies, brands, retailers, buying houses and multi-stakeholder institutions.Such a forum will then come out with a ‘code of ethics’ to prevent child/forced labour and help the sector adopt international best practices, and further to grant certificates for units complying with ethical norms.

The other priority areas of DISHA include ensuring freedom of association in the sector, proper wages and benefits, compliance with all the relevant laws and social justice norms. Around 134 units have so far enrolled for DISHA certification, and 68 units have given their Letter of Intent to comply with the norms. Besides, Self Assessment Tool (SAT) workshops have been conducted for 51 units in Tirupur, Jaipur, Ludhiana and the National Capital Region around Delhi.

The Textiles Ministry has given an allocation of around Rs 6 crore for the first year (2011-12) of the programme, during which it will cover 400 units across the country based on a cluster approach.

arun.s@thehindu.co.in

Violation of Child Labour Act

Wasim, a child labourer, works at a tea stall ...

Wasim, a child labourer, works at a tea stall in Indore, India. His work is to serve tea/coffee and wash glasses and other utensils.He received daily pay. He is able to read and write, having attended school in the past. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

HUMAN TRAFFICKING INDIA IS A SHAKTI VAHINI – NATIONAL LEGAL RESEARCH  DESK INITIATIVE

The Union Labour & Employment Minister Shri Mallikarjun Kharge has informed the Rajya Sabha  that as per 2001 census, the total number of working children between the age group 5-14 years in the country was 1.26 crore. However, as per NSSO survey 2009-10, the working children are estimated at 49.84 lakh which shows declining trend. Under Section 3 of the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986, prohibits the employment of children below the age of 14 years in 18 Occupations and 65 Processes. Any person who employs a child in any occupation or process where employment of children is prohibited under the Child Labour (Prohibition & Regulation) Act, is liable for punishment with imprisonment for term which shall not be less than 3 months but which may extend to one year or with fine ranging from Rs.10,000/- to Rs.20,000/-. States/UT Governments are appropriate Government for implementation of the Child Labour(Prohibition & Regulation) Act, 1986 in the areas comes under their jurisdiction . As per the available information State-wise prosecution launched during 2010 & 2011 is as per Annexure-I.  The Minister was replying to a written question whether it is a fact that some State Governments could not prevent the increasing number of child labour and whether Government has instructed the State Governments to take stringent action against those who violates Child Labour Act; and the State-wise details thereof and the total number of casesbooked under this act last year?

State-wise data  on Prosecution

State

No. of Prosecution

  2010 2011
Andmn&Nico I. U.T. NA NA
Andhra Pradesh 74 NA
Arunachal Pradesh NA NA
Assam 6 NA
Bihar 632 576
Chandigarh    U.T. 33 Nil
Chhattisgarh 62 NA
Dadra & Nagar H. U.T. NA NA
Daman & Diu U.T. Nil Nil
Delhi U.T. 313 2
Goa Nil Nil
Gujarat 112 71
Haryana 210 82
Himachal Pradesh 22 44
Jammu & Kashmir 22 42
Jharkhand 14 NA
Karnataka 479 232
Kerala NA NA
Lakshadweep UT Nil Nil
Madhya Pradesh 5772 170*
Maharashtra 25 11
Manipur

4

Meghalaya NA 2
Mizoram Nil Nil
Nagaland Nil Nil
Orissa 21 397
Pondicherry   U.T. Nil 10
Punjab 654 251
Rajasthan 18 38
Sikkim NA NA
Tamil Nadu 38 26
Tripura

1(1997-2011)

Uttar Pradesh 356 NA
Uttaranchal 2 5
West Bengal Nil 8