Human trafficking networks take advantage of desperate “migrant” families: high susceptibility of children in tourism locations

[…] COVID-19 and the lockdown has led to children of migrant workers and daily wage labourers being deprived of food, adding to the burden of families who are not able to make ends meet due to loss of wages. […]

The situation is no better for migrant workers returning to their homes with no means of survival. This further marginalisation makes them fall prey to traffickers for labour. It is a similar situation for children who ran away from home to escape abuse but now are returning to abusive homes in much tougher situations. Our conversations with people in different destinations highlight the fact that human trafficking networks are already active and working under the guise of being benevolent to the vulnerable, desperate families.

The vulnerability of the children of migrant workers has increased manifold during this crisis. Their need for services has gone up, isolation, physical distancing and limited access to child protection response mechanisms and disruption of safety nets has resulted in high susceptibility of children, particularly in tourism locations.

Among them, the condition of trafficked child labourers as well as children living on the streets is even worse. Though there are several relief announcements by the government, there have not been any specific announcements made by the state or central government to mitigate the suffering of children living in difficult circumstances, except the notification by the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) on the preventive measures that need to be taken in Child Care Institutions.

An adequate assessment of the status of children living in difficult circumstances is less likely to happen during the COVID-19 crisis, as child protection agencies have reduced monitoring to avoid spreading the virus, and police are busy implementing lockdown orders. The situation is dire and uncertain. No one knows how long this will continue and how this will increase child poverty in a country like India.

We need to deal with the realities of their existence rather than ignore these children. […]

Source: “CHILDREN OF MIGRANT WORKERS IN INDIA’S TOURIST SPOTS ARE AT RISK: WHAT THE GOVT CAN DO” – Equations blog by Joyatri Ray Siddhi Pendke, JUNE 15, 2020
URL: https://beta.equitabletourism.org/blog-post/children-migrant-workers-indias-tourist-spots-are-risk-what-govt-can-do
Date visited: 15 July 2020

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