“Human rights are inscribed in the hearts of people; they were there long before lawmakers drafted their first proclamation.”

– Mary Robinson, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights

In this modern era of fast moving lifestyle, life is all about being on toes with the world and trying to be the best in our profession in some way or the other, earn money, competing with each other, etc. But the truth is WE have stopped looking around us. We have stopped noticing and valuing the environment in which we live in. We have created a cocoon for ourselves so much so that our eyes have become blinded by it. The life outside is completely different and beyond our perception.

Recently while I was walking on the road, I saw a destitute family on the platform. There was a father, a mother, a daughter and a son. The father asked his children to go and beg for money which would feed them that afternoon. And the girl child refused immediately, as she did not want to do it. After her parents coerced her a little more, she was left with no other option.

This is just one small incident that happened in one part of my life. This might have happened everyday in front of our eyes, but we have failed to notice this. And this incident has inspired me to write my first blog on “Child Trafficking”.

In simple terms Child Trafficking is all about “recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, and/or receipt” of a child for the purpose of exploitation. Child trafficking, a human rights violation, unlike many other issues is found in both developed and developing nations. Child Trafficking seems to be a ritual followed globally from ages, when slavery and bondage was at its pinnacle. Though statistics regarding the magnitude of child trafficking are difficult to obtain, the International Labor Organization estimates that 1.2 million children are trafficked every year from India.

There are different kinds of child trafficking which includes illegal & forced child labor, trading of children, sexual prostitution, slavery, children used in domestic fronts as servants, in armed forces, in drug peddling smuggling, organ trade, use of children in circus, etc. These are just few which are known to the world. We don’t know, in what many other ways, these tiny tots are exploited and harmed. There are many economic, political, cultural and religious factors that contribute to the spread of this virus in the society. This can range from forced child begging, lack of proper laws in place to protect the rights of these children, poverty, increase in population, female infanticide, child marriage, etc.

It has been found by UNICEF that children who are forced to beg by third parties are often removed from their families, surrender the majority of their income to their exploiter, endure unsafe work and living conditions, and are at times maimed to increase profits. These children are forced through these abusive acts receive little to no education, and hence are unable to fight for their rights. And we as a society have forgotten to look deep into their pain.

As we move forward the timeline, it is vital for all of us to come together and resolve this evil and eradicate it completely from its roots. It will be a long journey and one individual person can never do it. It’s all about working together for a better place to live in. One of the most significant steps that needs to be taken is, executing the laws in practice which are already there in place. Parallel to this, we have to create awareness among the public and develop conditions that will help people to seek aid for their safety. There are many NGOs which work in this field. As always finance, logistics, media and government policies have failed to put them in limelight.

We always see the outer circle of life and talk about dirty politics, corruption, corporate frauds, inflation, unemployment etc. But beyond our imagination, there is a world, where the bud is crushed before it opens up to be a flower. Let’s come out of our shallow life, look beyond this thin line, and march towards a society where our children are safe.

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