UNICEF defines a trafficked child as “any individual under 18 who is enlisted, transported, exchanged, harbored or got with the end goal of misuse, either inside or outside a nation”. The National Crime Records Bureau estimated that a child is kidnapped as often as once every eight minutes.

India is a prime region for child trafficking. There are countless trafficked for work, begging, and sexual misuse globally, but a large number of those are from, go through, or bound to go to India. Though the greater part of the trafficking happens inside the country, there is also a significant number of children trafficked from Nepal and Bangladesh. 

Child Trafficking Cases Filed on an Average in Kolkata:

Kolkata is a huge source of child trafficking in India; in the past few years alone, there are around 500 untraced cases. Shakti Vahini coordinator Rishi Kant, who has been working on the issue for several years, said: “There are over 10,000 children missing from east India according to data provided in the Parliament last year, most of whom use the rail network. We want cops to note down addresses of the girls arriving in the Capital for jobs. They can then check these addresses to find if those are genuine. Strict action against dubious agencies, which sell these girls in Haryana as brides, should be taken” as indicated in traffickingnews.wordpress.com

Unfortunately though, because of the nature of this crime, it is difficult to track, therefore making accurate estimates difficult to get.

Recent Case of Child Trafficking in Kolkata:

Two babies’ bodies were found on the Sujit Dutta Memorial Welfare Trust premises at Machlandapur in West Bengal’s North 24-Parganas area Friday. The trust is purportedly responsible for trafficking babies, possibly transnationally. Recently 15 individuals, including seven women, have been captured in association with the Trust. The exhumation came a day after 10 babies were saved from a “maturity home” in Kolkata.

“Acting on a tip-off, our group recouped [the] two bodies. We may get more bodies there,” said ADG (CID) Rajesh Kumar as mentioned in indianexpress.com. Authorities said infants were being smuggled into different states in cardboard boxes used for pressing scones. During cross investigation of the charged, police said they were informed that the count included children who passed away while being moved.

Then, late Thursday, authorities discovered 10 newborn children — all females aged between one and 10 months — on the third floor of Purbasha, a “seniority home for the slow-witted” at Thakurpukur. During the search, Reena Banerjee, Purbasha’s owner, was captured.

Sources said Reena is the child of Putul Banerjee, the owner of South View Nursing Home in Kolkata. “A fundamental test discloses that no less than 50 newborn children have been sold through Purbasha. This number could be more. The CID is also investigating who purchased these infants,” said ADG (CID) Rajesh Kumar as mentioned in indianexpress.com.

Local Perceptions:

Sources said babies from South View were exchanged through Purbasha, from where they were sold to childless couples. Local people said that while they had seen individuals entering the home with children, they believed Putul Banerjee’s nursing was regulating polio drops. “This building houses a wellbeing focus. In this way, when we saw any infant being gotten, we didn’t consider it odd,” said a local.

Punishment for Child Trafficking in India:

The Government of India punishes human trafficking for business and sexual abuse through the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act (ITPA), with recommended punishment of seven years’ to life detainment. India likewise precludes reinforced and constrained work through the Bonded Labor Abolition Act, the Child Labor Act, and the Juvenile Justice Act.

Indian powers also use Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code, forbidding capturing and offering minors into prostitution. Punishments under these arrangements are a most ten years and a fine.

Photo by CC-by-sa PlaneMad/Wikimedia 

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