New Delhi, Jul 30 (PTI) Apex child rights body NCPCR has come out with family-centric recommendations to combat child trafficking at 'source, transit and destination hotspots' amid concerns over its rise post the COVID-19 lockdown.
The recommendations of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) were made after deliberations with stakeholders held in May but released on the World Day Against Trafficking In Persons on Thursday.
Speaking to PTI, NCPCR Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo said it is the first time that the NCPCR has come out with family-centric recommendations and not child-centric ones related to child trafficking.
'Earlier, all policies at NCPCR used to be child-centric but this is the first time we made a family-centric document. Poverty is one of the main reasons of trafficking and the end-affected person of poverty is the child. So children should be included in the poverty alleviation schemes,' he said.
'We have decided to do mapping of family's vulnerability first. In any village, there are 13 welfare committees and they should hold meetings to identify vulnerability using indicators and these indicators would then be linked to welfare schemes so that vulnerable families can avail the benefits of the scheme. Once the family attaches itself to a government scheme then tracing also becomes easy,' Kanoongo said.
The NCPCR, in its recommendations, said focus on preventive aspects at the source, transit and destination hotspot states need to be ensured.
Source hotspot refers to vulnerable children and families at risk of being trafficked in villages and urban habitations.
The transit hotspot areas are typically the route through which the victim is taken to the place of intended exploitation by the trafficker.
Destination hotspot is the area or place where the victim of trafficking is brought to be exploited for economic gain and other forms of exploitation.
'In the process of evolving coordination mechanism, the state government may undertake identification of the hotspot 'villages' and 'urban habitations' prone to child trafficking in the districts,' the NCPCR said.
It further said that assessment of such children and vulnerable families at risk of being trafficked in villages and urban habitations is required to be undertaken.
Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) under monitoring of a superintendent of police (SP) and a law enforcement agency may assess the inter-state and intra-state source, transit and destination routes of child trafficking and cooperatively work out modalities to prevent child trafficking in the post-lockdown situation.
'Transit points such as railway stations and bus stops be kept under continuous surveillance and any one taking a child or woman along with him/herself who does not appear to be comfortable in his/her company should immediately be checked/questioned by GRP personnel or men from the district police,' the NCPCR said.
Special Juvenile Police Units (SJPUs), based on their existing mechanism, should alert the safety committees regarding such persons who are under scanners by police with regard to trafficking-related activities.
'Review of missing/lost and found children's list should also be done on a routine basis,' the child rights body said.
A discussion with placement agencies should be done at the local police station level to ensure no child has been brought for the purpose of child labour, and child welfare committees, district child protection units and anti human trafficking units may undertake random checks and inspection visits of such placement agencies.
'A complete record of all placement agencies should be documented at the thana level. Placement agencies should mandatorily have identity proofs, including the copies of Aadhar Cards, of labourers engaged by them for any purpose,' it said.
The child rights body also noted that civil society organisations play a vital role in the process of preventing child trafficking at source, transit and destination hotspot areas at the district, block and village levels.
'The civil society organisations, active in source; transit and destination hotspots may assist in providing secretarial assistance in conducting of discussions at the district level, may track village level discussions, assist in customising of indicators based on local issues, help in tracking, mapping and matching of profiles of children at risk and vulnerable families who shall require availing of schemes, provisioned by state and Centre,' it said. PTI UZM IJT