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 Cross Border trafficking to India

CHILDLINE 1098 Service » 1098 News » Cross Border trafficking to India

It is common understanding that human trafficking continues to occur at an alarming rate. Just when we think that cases we hear of in the news are overwhelming enough; we remain oblivious of how many cases go unreported. Illegal activities involving vulnerable children are part of a much bigger ordeal than is visible. Human trafficking is an international phenomenon involving children being trafficked across states and borders. Every year approximately 6000 women, girls and boys are trafficked from Bangladesh, India and Pakistan across for cheap labour and prostitution. Cross- border trafficking has become an issue of national and political concern that needs to be addressed immediately.

Cross Border trafficking to India

CHILDLINE cracks the case of a minor being trafficked across states

On 27th March 2013, the CHILDLINE team received an anonymous phone call. The caller stated that someone in Tirupathi (suspected to be a trafficker) lures minor girls by promising them a substantial income, instead sends them to brothels on a contract basis, to various places in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.

Based on this information, the team planned a sting operation. 2 of the team members went undercover and acted as customers seeking a minor girl to be brought to Ongole using ‘real estate business’ as a cover up. They convinced the suspect that they would pay Rs. 15,000/- to spend 5 days with the girl. As an advance amount, Rs. 2000/- was deposited in his bank account.

Meanwhile, the CHILDLINE team informed the police and the media about the same who in turn alerted the special branch police officers and gave on the course of action to be taken. On 28th March, the trafficker reached Ongole by train along with a 16 year old girl. The team member who was undercover, met the agent at the Railway Station, and took him and the girl directly to the Police Station.

The Police registered a complaint against the agent and booked a case under Section 366 of IPC and Sec 4 & 5 of Immoral Traffic Prevention Act.

The girl was shifted to a shelter home.

Later on, the case was produced before the court and the Honorable magistrate of the Special court remanded the accused until the 12th of April, 2013. After some detailed police inquiry, the accused revealed approximately 250 contact details of people involved in human - trafficking networks in Andhra Pradesh. On further inquiry, the police found out that the accused used to procure minor girls from Chittoor and other neighbouring districts and send them to brothels in Chennai, Vijayawada and Eluru.

India, a hub of cross-border child trafficking

Bangladesh and other neighboring countries, have high rates of cross- border trafficking to and from India. In an attempt to control this illegal activity, Bangladesh based NGOs and SLARTC (Socio Legal Aid Research and Training Center), Kolkata, have organized 3 border- area posts to keep a check on the this activity. However, cross – border human trafficking is remains a rampant occurrence.

CHILDLINE Bhubaneswar, through the Railway Police, came into contact with two girls; Tina and Lina, aged 15 and 14 years respectively. Two days later, another child, a boy, Navin, was found by the Railway police and handed over to CHILDLINE.

As per the statement given by both girls, they were biological sisters with the same father, but different mothers. The girls stayed at a village called Bhagwadi, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. They were kidnapped by two people from Benapal, Odisha while they were visiting their aunt. With the help of others, the girls were taken to the border. After crossing at Gobardanga, they were taken to Bhubaneswar with the intention of selling them to a brothel. Once they reached Bhubaneswar, the traffickers tried to get them into a building. Before entering, the girls began crying. On seeing two young girls crying in a public place, the locals gathered around them. During the commotion, the alleged traffickers abandoned the girls and took off. People in the locality brought them to the Railway station where they were directed to a female constable at the Mahila Police station and were later handed over to CHILDLINE Bhubaneswar.

Similarly, two days later, Navin, a boy child from Bangladesh, was brought to Chennai by one of his father’s friends and was forcefully put to work in a factory. Navin fled from Chennai and managed to get into a Bhubaneswar bound train. On reaching Bhubaneswar, the Government Railways Police found him and handed him over to CHILDLINE.

CHILDLINE took the right course of action. All 3 children were presented before the CWC in Khurdah district. They requested the Secretary of the Women and Child Development Department Govt. of Odisha to take necessary steps. She immediately wrote to the Resident Commissioner of the Odisha Government in New Delhi who in turn wrote to the Bangladesh High Commission in New Delhi, requesting them to verify the addresses given and grant these children their travel permit for their repatriation to Bangladesh. Soon after, the Bangladesh High Commission issued their travel permit separately, going through all necessary protocols. The Secretary of the Women and Child Development, Govt. of Odisha went to the extent of requesting the officials at Bhubaneswar to take necessary steps in this regard and follow up with their counterpart in West Bengal so that all 3 children could reach Bangladesh as early as possible. The Commissioner of police, Bhubaneswar, wrote to all concerned departments of the Howrah Railway station and asked for assistance in the repatriation of these children.

Finally, with the help of various officials working with the government as well as CHILDLINE the children were sent back to their homes.

References:

- Nicolette D’souza (Intern with CHILDLINE India Foundation)

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