Cheaper than buffaloes

Children are purchased like buffaloes," said Bhuvan Ribhu of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), quoting a study that is due to be released .
"While buffaloes may cost up to 15,000 rupees ($350), children are sold at prices between 500 and 2,000 rupees ($12 and $45)," he told Reuters.

Two brothers in Bihar were recently given away for 250 rupees ($6) each by their parents and trafficked out of the state in connivance with police, Ribhu said.

Children account for 40 to 50 percent of all victims of human trafficking. They are sold to work as domestic laborers, or in the carpet industry, on farms or as commercial sex workers.The traffickers-police connection was so strong in some parts of the country that traffickers scout freely and children rescued from brothels and bonded labor were often victims again.

Close on the heels of the incident of 20 bonded child labourers being rescued from a train on July 21, as many as 12 children, who were being trafficked, were rescued by the railway protection force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) forces at Kishanganj railway station  again.

The rescued children were in the age group of 6 to 10, except two, who were about 14 years, said Railway Police sources. The small children were huddled together on the platform, awaiting the  Jodhpur-Guwahati Express to arrive. The RPF noticed them during their rounds.Meanwhile, a person posing to be their custodian, appeared claiming that the children were being taken to school. But on a little more probing, it became clear that the man was a tout and a trafficker.

People in Orissa's famine-hit regions are desperately selling their children .... not for the money but to ensure two square meals a day for them. So far, 16 cases of children being sold have been exposed in the local media, but the state government is yet to admit even one

As much as we do not want to recognize it, children are now being treated like a commodity on the black market. Sometimes they are  relocated within our own country. More often they are moved across borders. They are sold for purposes like forced labor, prostitution, pornography, organ removal, or even as child soldiers. They are in high demand as cheap domestic labor, for farm work, and especially for sexual exploitation. Some girls, as young as 13 years of age, are sold as mail-order brides where they are isolated, abused, raped, and subjected to various forms of torture.

Sometimes children are gently persuaded to comply by members of their own family or by friends, with promises of a better life. Other times, they are forced or coerced. Sometimes they are simply tricked or drugged into submission.

Rough estimates indicate that children account for between 40 and 50 percent of all human trafficking victims, for as many as 1.2 million children.

Many of these children end up in sex trade,where they are in  big demand by perverts who are willing to pay as much as tens of thousands of dollars.Often, because sexual activity is considered a private matter, authorities are  reluctant to intervene, even in cases of obvious sexual exploitation. Technological advances like the Internet, which has made child pornography easy to obtain, has also added to the problem. Even more ignorant beliefs like AIDS can be cured by having sex with a virgin only further muddy the waters, adding to the vulnerability of children.
It is heartening to notice that there are people who are genuinely concerned about this issue,and try to create  public awareness of this global issue.I could find many documentaries on the subject,but the few I thought best are mentioned below,for those who want to go  to the reality of the issue.

"Anamika "(The Nameless)
Director/Writer: Rajesh
Anamika  is a documentary on trafficking of women and children from Andhra Pradesh to various parts of India.

"Born Into Brothel"
Directors/Producers: Zana Briski, Ross Kauffman
2005 Oscar-winner for Best Documentary Film. The most stigmatized people in Sonagachi, Calcutta's red light district, are not the prostitutes, but their children.

"Tin Girls"
Subject: Slavery in Prostitution
Director: Miguel Barde

"The Children we sacrifice"
Subject: Child Incestouous Sexual Abuse
Director: Grace.


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