On the occasion of world day against child labour that was observed around the globe on June 12, 2016, 17 trafficked children were rescued from trains and placement agencies in New Delhi.
The problem of human trafficking remains significant in India. People are frequently illegally trafficked through the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced or bonded labour.
As a run up to the world day against child labour, anti human trafficking week was observed in the capital under which the Delhi police and Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) workers raided an agency in West Delhi from where seven minor girls and a girl aged 21, were rescued. Of the seven girls, four were from Assam and three from Jharkhand.
The 21 year old girl was working as a domestic helper in a household and the owner of the placement agency was taking money from her employer but refused to pay her and locked her in a room.
The crime branch of Delhi police also rescued nine boys from two trains, who were working as child labourers. Five of them were rescued from Magadhshila Express and four from Poorva Express.
According to police, two human traffickers were also arrested on the same day.
As per the reports of Global Slavery Index 2016, released by the human rights organisation Walk Free Foundation, India has the largest number of trafficked population in the world with over 18 million people trapped as sex workers, beggars, bonded labour and child soldiers.
Nearly 1.4 pc of India’s population is under slavery that makes the country stand at fourth position among 167 nations.
Most of the trafficked minors are lured by agents to work in big cities and earn good money. These are then pushed into bonded labour through illegal placement agencies that cater to the rising demand of domestic helps.
More than 200 illegal placement agencies are operating in west Delhi alone and the police must initiate a crackdown against them.
BBA and the Delhi police are working together to raid railway stations as most of the children who are trafficked from Assam, Jharkhand and Bihar are brought to Delhi via trains.
The problem of human trafficking is increasing even after many illegal traffickers are arrested every year. In June 2015, police arrested Lata Lakhra, who was the head of a massive trafficking racket.
She called herself a household maid but actually owned an illegal placement agency in West Delhi where she trafficked nearly 1500 children from Jharkhand alone.
This is not the first time when the capital has come under the radar for human trafficking. With the increasing number of illegal trade of young girls being sold into prostitution, forced marriage and domestic labour, among others, Delhi is becoming the central part of the wheel for human trafficking in the country.