(Prof. Sengupta is Former Chairperson, West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights. This two part series is informed by his experiences as well as expertise in the field. This is the first part.)
Over 130 children have been reported missing every day this year. About 15,988 children were reported missing this year till April 2015, of which over half (6,921) were untraced.
Times of India /TNN | Jul 24, 2015
“Children who have gone missing were at the risk of being trafficked. … Every 30 seconds a child runs away from his home!”
Devi Sirohi, Chairperson, Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights(CCPCR), Keynote address at the Workshop on Child Trafficking,12-03-2015
Trafficking & Child Trafficking
It is difficult to find a comprehensive definition of trafficking in persons. NCPCR (National Commission for Protection of Child Rights) defines trafficking as trade in human, most commonly for the purpose of sexual slavery, forced labour or commercial sexual exploitation for the traffickers or others; or for the extraction of organs or tissues, including surrogacy and ova removal; or for providing a spouse in the context of forced marriages. Palermo Protocol defines trafficking in persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat, or force or coercion, abduction, or fraud, deception, abuse of power, position of vulnerability, giving or receiving payments/benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Thus, the thrusts of the definitions of NCPCR and Palermo Protocol are different. While the former emphasises on the purposes of trafficking, the latter’s stress is on the act itself. In any study of trafficking it is important to focus on the child trafficking as NHRC (National Human Rights Commission) Action Research has established a direct linkage between ‘Human Trafficking’ and ‘Missing Children’. Missing children are sold as bonded labourers, child prostitutes, beggars, drug peddlers, sold for illicit trading of organs etc. These children are normally from economically and socially disadvantaged marginalized sections.