Increase in Child Trafficking Post Corona
The article ‘Increase in Child Trafficking Post Corona‘ is a profound analysis of the adverse impact of Corona on the lives of Children. Child trafficking is snatching away the protective environment of innocent lives and exploiting them in so many ways, like forced labour or, to be more precise, a form of slavery.
The author laments that childhood is a beautiful journey but not everyone is fortunate enough to enjoy it. The author points out the effective legislations and schemes which protect the rights of children in India. The author sums up it is essential that the public also play an active role along with the government; only then will there be change. Change is never a one-sided process. It has to be tried from all corners of society.
Childhood is considered a golden period of everyone’s life, not every child has the opportunity to enjoy and cherish their childhood, not every child has the memories to be recalled, and not every child has enjoyed their childhood. Where some children are crying for toys and other such demands, there are still children who cry for a one-time meal. Some children get everything before demanding still some children are crying and striving in labour. Where some children have inalienable dreams to keep and think back of, and some children just pray to get out of that moment.
We see children being constantly targeted to engage in labour instead of studying and enjoying their golden period. At times there are multiple instances wherein children are also forced to be involved in Prostitution. It is indeed a shameful situation to note that India has the highest number of trafficked children in the entire world, estimating the numbers from 40,000 to 200,000 children being trafficked annually, In a country like India where traditions, culture, and rituals are focused on, still, some children are forced into child trafficking. It is high time we recognize the rights of children and not only that but also give them proper infrastructure and environment to cherish the golden period of their life.
“The mud and dirt will wash off, but the childhood memories will last a lifetime.”
Steps Taken to Protect the Rights of Children in India
The steps taken by our Indian government to protect the rights of children are as follows:
The Right to Education Act (2009)
This Specific Act guarantees free and compulsory education to all children between the age of 6 to 14
The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (2012)
This Act intends to protect children from Sexual abuse and exploitation and also prescribes strong punishment for the same.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act (2015)
This Act also provides for the reformation of the child and protects and also rehabilitates children who need that kind of care and protection. Moreover, this also treats juveniles who are in conflict with the law.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act (1986)
This act intends to prohibit the act of employing children below the age of 14 years in any hazardous occupation and this act also regulates proper working conditions for children in other employment specifically for children.
The National Policy for Children (2013)
This Policy outlines and works in the protection, development and all-around participation of children and not only that, but it also works for the overall development and well-being of children.
Indian Government has time and again introduced several schemes and various programs to ensure child rights in India. Some of those are as follows:
Integrated Child Development Services (ICDS)
This scheme is a service providing schemes for children, pregnant women and lactating mothers. The services include nutrition, early childhood education, health check-ups and other such services.
Beti Bachao Beti Padhao (BBBP)
This scheme specifically emphasizes saving a girl child and also promoting her education and her well-being.
Pradhan Mantri Matru Vandana Yojana (PMMVY)
This is a scheme which provides financial help and assistance to pregnant women and lactating mothers.
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan (SSA)
This scheme ensures free and compulsory education to all children belonging to the 6 to 14 years of age group.
National Health Mission (NHM)
This scheme intends to provide quality health services, including maternal health and specifically children’s health also.
Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakram (RBSK)
This scheme intends to provide for comprehensive healthcare facilities from Birth to 18 years of age.
Effects of Child Trafficking
Taking away the rights of children ruins their childhood, their valuable time and their memories. Child trafficking is a pervasive issue which India has been facing for a long time. And it has even more increased post corona times. Child trafficking is the worst kind of environment a child would ever have to face. Keeping aside the physical challenges faced due to trafficking, the psychological and mental unstableness and the time, life, fun everything is taken away from the child. It develops an inferiority complex in a child, which leads to many other problems like mental issues, and not feeling equally capable and also hampers the Individualistic and all-around growth of a child.
Child Trafficking Before Corona
According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), a total of 3,356 cases of trafficking of children were reported in India in 2019.
Child Trafficking Post Corona
According to a report by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), there was a 14% increase in cases of child trafficking in India in 2020 compared to the previous year, with a total of 2,435 cases reported. The COVID-19 pandemic has led to economic distress and job losses, making children and families more vulnerable to trafficking.
Analyzing Child Trafficking Post Corona
Where all the children during Corona times had their parents backing and supporting them emotionally, financially, and also physically, Some children were also forced into prostitution to have a one-time meal.
Child trafficking, evidently through data and statistics, has increased for sure. But we still should not forget that this only includes the data of children who chose to speak for themselves and decided to report. It is to be assumed that there might be a particular percentage of children who must be to earn a livelihood still continues to engage in such activities. We should also not forget children who were forced into prostitution. Moreover, due to corona times, the children also faced difficulties to reach the authority to claim their rights. Thus, if we go on to consider and look at real data, it might have been far higher.
Firstly, it is not to deny that the government has been consistently introducing schemes and legislation to protect children, But still, it is also not to deny that cases of child trafficking have been consistently increasing and no further actions are being taken, particularly in this regard. There is a huge gap between introducing schemes and implementing schemes and legislation also, for that matter. Especially in countries like India, where implementation becomes so difficult, there should be some extra steps taken by the end of the government to implement the same.
Secondly, the steps taken by the government should be about the root causes of the particular issue and not just haphazardly introducing schemes and legislation, there should be a genuine intention to work hard for this pervasive issue of child trafficking.
It’s not only child trafficking in India which have been a pervasive issue, but giving a child their rights is a big issue. Various Issues like kidnapping, rape, cheating and more. It is so frequent that a child is underestimated and misused.
It is indeed high time that we recognise and give children their rights. And not only rights but a proper environment to sustain and cherish their childhood along with proper education. Again, it is high time to treat children as children in a very usual and not-so-serious manner. It is now the time to provide them with their rights. And as a public at large, it has to be understood that as children also, there are some rights they have, and as responsible citizens of India, adults have to ensure the same. It is time to work for the rights of children and also provide them equal opportunity to fulfil their desires and their dreams rather than simply chasing away their dreams.
There is an overall need to protect children, this is possible not only through government but also requires the support of the public at large and a new perspective, rather a positive perspective towards childrens and their rights.
 Child Prostitution: the curse affecting every continent, Available Here
 Neeta Lal, India’s Child-trafficking Nightmare Deepens in the Pandemic, Available Here
 Nehal Maheshwari, Child Prostitution in India, Available Here
 Joseph A Gathia, Child Prostitution in India, Textbook
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