Statutory Compliance

Child trafficking, labour prevalent despite preventive laws

Source | TNN | Times of India

For Shahin, a 12-year-old boy living in a slum of Bajardiha area, the day begins and ends with picking rags from streets and selling them to the scrap dealers. At the end of the day, he earns Rs 25-30. The children of Sukra Bibi, another slum dweller, also pick rags from the streets.

Like Shahin, there are hundreds of children in the city who are engaged in rag picking and other such works. Despite laws, child rights are not protected even in PM Narendra Modi’s parliamentary constituency. It is a common sight to see children working at roadside dhabas, workshops and even in houses. The evils like child trafficking and child labour exist in the region.

The International Day of Innocent Children Victims of Aggression is observed on June 4 each year. The purpose of the day is to acknowledge the pain suffered by children throughout the world, who are the victims of physical, mental and emotional abuse. This day affirms the UN’s commitment to protect the rights of children.

 One could see children, both boys and girls, living in slums, collecting rags from mounds of garbage. There are 227 slums spread all over the city. According to record, the total number of slum households is nearly 56,652, covering 1372.6 hectares (approximately 17%) of the city. These children do not know about their rights. The only thing they understand is that their job will fetch some extra money to support their families. “What’s the use of going to school when I am earning money to support my family,” said Shahin. There is no official data about the number of rag-pickers and street children. However, according to an NGO Vishal Bharat Sansthan (VBS), there are over 15,000 children engaged in rag picking in the city.
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