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West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee to Monitor the issue of Child Trafficking in the State

According to CID sources, 17 newborns were trafficked to various parts of India and abroad in the name of adoption by producing manufactured documents

Mamata Banerjee
Bring Software Industries to West Bengal, says CM Mamata Banerjee to Bengali Diaspora. Wikimedia

Kolkata, March 28, 2017: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday directed the state police and the bureaucracy to monitor the issue of child trafficking and stop the traffickers at all costs.

“The police and the block development officers (BDO) have to take responsibility to thoroughly monitor the issue of child trafficking in the state. Whoever is involved in trafficking should not be spared,” Banerjee said during an administrative meeting in West Bengal’s Jalpaiguri district.

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She also asked the other departments associated with the matter to play their role so that trafficking can be stopped.

“Apart from the police and the BDOs, those who are associated with child welfare have to look into the issue. This is also a responsibility of the Social Welfare Officers. The Women and Child Department also has to play the role they are expected to,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.

Referring to the repeated complaints of over-charging and negligence against the medical facilities in the state, Banerjee asked the police administration to keep an eye on the patients’ grievances.

“I would request all the inspectors and officers in-charge to keep an eye on their respective local hospitals. If such cases come to the police station it has be referred to the new committee formed under respective district magistrate,” she said.

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She also cautioned the administration to verify such complaints first before taking action against the accused medical facility.

“If the complaint is genuine then take appropriate action but if the complaint is not genuine, remember lodging a false complaint is also a crime,” she asserted.

Banerjee’s comments come against the backdrop of a recent crackdown at a Jalpaiguri-based child adoption centre, for its alleged involvement in several cases of child trafficking.

According to CID sources, 17 newborns were trafficked to various parts of India and abroad in the name of adoption by producing manufactured documents.

Several persons, including political leaders, child protection officers, doctors and owners of the accused child adoption centre, were arrested by the sleuths earlier this month for involvement in the case. (IANS)

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One out of Two Children face Child Sexual Abuse: The Growing Problem of Child Sexual Abuse in India

A recent survey by World Vision India reveals that 50% children have faced sexual abuse in India

  • One out of two children in India face child sexual abuse.
  • The perpetrators of sexual abuse among children are often close to them and trusted by the family.
  • The children from economically backward families are often trafficked and abused.
  • Information, awareness and communication are important tools for handling sexual abuse among children.

Child sexual abuse and child trafficking are rapidly festering problems in India, as a recent survey by World Vision India reveals that out of 45,844 children interviewed, almost half of them have been subjected to sexual abuse. The alarming statistics which indicate the unsafe circumstances faced by children also pose a glaring question: how do we know when a child has been abused?

Child sexual abuse is one of the least addressed issues in India, because of the taboo and the social stigma associated with it. Most children who have been abused refuse to disclose their discomfort out of shame and fear of punishment, as in most cases, the perpetrators of the child sexual abuse are persons who are explicitly trusted by the family. According to a survey conducted by the Government of India in 2007, the sexual abuse of children occurs mostly between the ages of 5 and 12, when they are unable to articulate their pain, as they lack the basic training to discriminate between affection and abuse.

Children engaged in labour are often trafickked and sexually abused.
Stock images, Wikipedia

Child trafficking in India

The problem of child sexual abuse in India among children is further intensified by the issue of child trafficking, as many economically backward families with multiple children often engage their children in labour, in an effort to earn their daily subsistence. The children employed in illegal labour are often trafficked away from their homes and even outside the country, where they become victims of child sexual abuse. The education system in India, which is often inaccessible to the children of the underdeveloped sections of the society, also become victims of child trafficking, as they lack the awareness and the information which might protect them from child sexual abuse.

Children engaged in labour are often trafickked and sexually abused
Stock image, Wikipedia

How to combat child sexual abuse

The main weapons in the battle against sexual abuse among children are communication and awareness. Once children learn to identify potential sexual predators, necessary steps may be adopted to ensure their safety and security. The development of a ‘safe space’ for children, where they may confide in adults without the fear of judgement or persecution might encourage them to disclose their concerns, which might help in the identification of potential threats which may hamper their well being.

“Despite one in every two children being a victim of child sexual abuse, there continues to be a huge silence. The magnitude of sexual violence against children is unknown,” states Cherian Thomas, the Director of World Vision India, claiming that one out of four families do not lodge complaints regarding cases of child sexual abuse. The unwillingness to engage in conversations regarding the growing menace of sexual abuse and trafficking among children also pose a major problem while combating with issues that threaten the safety of children. “I feel it is time that we all come under one banner and umbrella to focus our work around child protection,” said Cherian, encouraging parent-child conversation regarding sexual violence, as a measure to combat the prevalence of such crimes.