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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

5/22/2014 (10 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Raid hailed as one of the largest and most successful in Indian history

Sixty-three children were saved from a fate worse than death when Indian authorities made a raid on human trafficking this week. At least 23 people have been arrested in Old Delhi on suspicion of abducting children to work as slave labor or in the illicit underage sex industry. It was one the largest joint rescue operations between anti-trafficking campaigners, railway police and child rights groups.

Sixty-three children were saved from a fate worse than death when Indian authorities made a raid on human trafficking this week.

Sixty-three children were saved from a fate worse than death when Indian authorities made a raid on human trafficking this week.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

5/22/2014 (10 months ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: India, human trafficking, children, raid, arrests


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Child rights groups had reported a tipoff that a group of traffickers along with their victims were heading for the Indian capital by train from the northern town of Raxaul in Bihar state.

"We received a tipoff from the source area that there were a large group traveling on a particular train which was arriving in Delhi on Wednesday," Sanjay Bhatia, deputy commissioner for police says.

Starvation never takes a vacation --


"So we worked closely with the NGOs to ensure that we did not miss them when they arrived. It was a big operation in terms of rescuing all these children and apprehending the suspects. In fact, I think it was one of the biggest in the last year."

Aged between 7 and 17 years of age, the child victims were mostly from the northern states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.

The traffickers had told their parents the children would work in factories in Delhi and other cities and would send money home regularly, authorities say.

"I was told that a lot of money would be given to me once I reached Punjab," an 8-year-old boy in the group said. "They tried very hard to convince me that a better life awaited me."

"I was promised education in one of the madrasas (religious schools) in Delhi and was also assured of a job in a factory," a rescued 13-year-old boy said.

Indian children, mostly from poor rural areas, are routinely taken to the cities annually by trafficking gangs who sell them into bonded labor or hire them out to unscrupulous employers, with the promises of them sending their wages to their families back home. 

Children are usually not paid and go missing, and their families are unable to track them down.

None of the children rescued had ever attended school, adding that initial investigations had shown that several of the men arrested had supplied child laborers to factories before.

BBA founder Kailash Satyarthi, who alerted the police to the gang's plans, expressed serious concern about the rise in child trafficking in India.

"This is the single largest operation to free trafficked children in transit. Among those children who have been rescued from the clutches of traffickers today, the youngest one is barely seven. He was being trafficked from Bihar to be sold as a tea-boy in Jind (Haryana state)," Satyarthi said.

"At a time when a former tea-boy has dared his detractors by becoming the prime minister of India, look at the travesty that traffickers are executing such heinous crimes right under the nose of Government Railway Police in the capital of the world's largest democracy."

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