According to data provided by the National ChildLine-1098, a huge increase in child crime cases has been recorded during the Corona lockdown. The figures have been provided during lockdown by National ChildLine-1098 which presents a different picture of child trafficking. During the lockdown, the trend of child trafficking and child marriage has increased. From March 2020 to August 2020, CHILDLINE carried out ground manipulation in 1.92 lakh cases, compared to 1.70 lakh in 2019 in the same period. The number of distress calls from March 2020 to August 2020 was 27 lakh as compared to 3.6 million in the same period last year. Certainly, this should have been reduced according to the circumstances. There have been 10,000 child marriage cases between April and August 2020.
There are many different reasons that give rise to child trafficking, the primary reasons being poverty, weak law enforcement, and lack of good quality public education. Smugglers who take advantage of children are may be from any other region of India, or may also know the child personally. Child trafficking is most frequent in Latin America and the Caribbean. Child trafficking is also most prevalent in developing countries, although it also occurs in developed and industrialised economies. Trafficking of a minor (under 16 years) for prostitution in India carries a sentence ranging from 7 years imprisonment to life imprisonment and fine. Abetment of sexual exploitation of a minor girl (under 18) or a foreign girl (under 21) is punishable with imprisonment up to 10 years and with fine.
Although anti-human trafficking police have also been set up by the state governments, human trafficking is increasing in many states including Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. Due to child trafficking in the lockdown and increasing child labour due to the closure of schools, some children from coastal areas joined the fisheries industry. After getting information about this matter, the authorities took action and closed it. The focus of the administrative machinery was to avoid corona, so criminal elements had the opportunity to commit child crimes. Of the total cases, 32,700 cases were related to child marriage, sexual offenses, emotional crimes, and cyber crimes have been reported, among which 10,000 cases were of child marriage only.
Many industries were operating even during the lockdown. Child labor activities have been observed in these industries.
The painful journey of Love Sonia (Mrinal Thakur) exposes the illegal marketization of children, an innocent teenage girl from a poor peasant family in North India. Sonia is tricked into sex work while searching for her beloved sister Preeti (Riya Sisodia) in Mumbai. After months of grassroots vandalism and exploitation by her vassal broker, Faizal (Manoj Bajpayee), Sonia was packaged in a cargo container and shipped to service customers worldwide in Hong Kong and Los Angeles. But during a sex party for Hollywood high-rollers, she finally breaks free and seizes her life back with support from anti-trafficking charities.
There have been more cases of illegal trade in rural areas. Trafficking is where children and young people are tricked, coerced, or persuaded to leave their homes and move or transport and then exploited, to work or sell them is forced. Children are exploited, sexually abused, cheated. The discovery of labor, financial constraints made these children more vulnerable to human trafficking.
It is a very pathetic situation even after measures taken for children. Legal measures and constitutional provisions have been made for the welfare of children in our country, such as Article 21 (a): – Provision for compulsory education in the age group of 6-14, Article 24 ban on child labor in hazardous work till the age of fourteen. While Article 39 (e) – asks the state to ensure that children of tender age are not misused. The duty of the state for childhood care in Article 65 and Article 51 says that it is the fundamental duty of parents to ensure that their child receives education for the age group of 6 years 14.
The National Policy for Children that came in 2013 defines a child as everyone under 18 years of life, survival, development (mental, physical, emotional, social, cultural, cognitive), education, health, and participation. Here, the Ministry of Women and Child Development monitors the schemes for the welfare of children across the country. National Child Helpline 1098 was established under this ministry.