472 Million Young Children At Risk Of Human Trafficking: Time To Rethink On Current Policies

India is among the foremost populous countries in the world located in South Asia, 472 million young children are at risk on a daily basis while residing there. Human trafficking has been an incredibly difficult and problematic issue that India has suffered with for several years.

However, child trafficking has been getting significantly worse than human trafficking over the past few years if we consider the past few data. Human trafficking for sexual purposes has been present in India for an incredibly very long time, but trafficking children for labour and slavery has only recently received national attention.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), approximately every 8 minutes a toddler is trafficked in India. Children are lured in by adults offering them jobs and money for easy work but are tricked and enslaved to figure gruelling hours, be beaten and abused, get little to no food, and are sometimes used for sex.

In 2016, the NCRB reported that 45% of human trafficking was for forced labour and 22% was for prostitution, other 33% was for servitude or for forced marriages.

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An estimate of 135,000 children have been trafficked annually and in 2016, only 14,183 children were saved. If we see in percentage, 61% of the 14,183 are males and 39% are female. Locals in India aren’t the sole explanation for these high amounts of kid trafficking. Tourists travel from countries where child trafficking laws are strict and intensely frowned upon to India for sex with children.

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If we see the effects of COVID-19, the pandemic has made India’s situation much worse. India had to enforce a lockdown of 1.4 billion people during covid-19. India’s citizens were forced to be unemployed and without acquiring months, which drove them to extreme measures to survive.

Many poor families had to dump their children to possess enough money to possess food on their plates. within the span of 11 days, 92,000 cases of kid abuse and negligence were reported to authorities.

Many families were desperate enough to sell their young women for very low amounts, such as, in Jharkhand, $415 (USD). as compared, healthy goats were being sold at around twice that price. Eventually, there’ll be a large influx of kid labour for the primary time in 20 years, in keeping with predictions by the International Labor Organization.

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Another major thing about the ever-worsening problem of kid trafficking is early marriages. Parents marry their kids off to other families for money, similarly to selling their children off, because of having no other choice but to survive. The UN expects 13 million child marriages will occur over the following decade worldwide.

In 2020 alone, there have been around 500,000 child marriages across the globe. India has the worst problems with child marriages than the other country. Approximately 27% of women are married before their 18th birthday. With the pandemic expected to be coming to an in-depth, it’s predicted that child marriage rates will fall drastically because of families having the ability to financially support themselves.

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Unless new policies are enacted and stricter rules are enforced, the alarming rates of kid marriages, child trafficking, and child prostitution will still rise. The longer the difficulty stays unresolved, the more children are going to be at risk of physical and mental abuse.

However, there’s hope, as many communities in India are being educated about how immoral and wrongful child labour is. If this continues, India’s communities will give their children more opportunities for a standard, optimal childhood for their growth.