Images of India: Call for new law against child trafficking…

Activists are calling for the swift enactment of a new law against child trafficking, a problem that has plagued the country for decades. Children, largely from poor families, are trafficked for manual labour,sex work, adoption, and to be sold as child brides. Some children have been sent overseas. The victims are taken from villages to cities where they work in factories or serve as domestic help. In may cases they are not paid, making them slaves. In several instances, the children went missing without trace. Last year, 9104 children were trafficked in India, an increase of 27% from 2015, government data shows. But the numbers did not reveal the full picture because a lack of data has made it difficult to even report the figures correctly. Child trafficking was largely caused by social media and economic equality. Children in rural areas are particularly vulnerable because of poverty and lack of employment opportunities. Existing law against human trafficking, introduced in 1990s, has failed because it is reactive rather than preventive, and adequate protection by the authorities rarely extends to rural areas, enabling child trafficking to flourish.