Every now and then, reports come in of children being taken in a group to work in snack-making units in the south or north of the country from Chennai Central, and Egmore Railway Stations. We also hear of bonded labourers being rescued by various agencies.
Most often tips come from members of the public, who have spotted ‘suspicious activity.’ While it takes a lot of effort on the part of authorities to rescue and rehabilitate victims, a lot hinges on the first tip-off.
"Trafficking is associated with the common man as daily-use products have elements of bondage. Food, textiles, electronics, and construction industries, have a high incidence of bonded and child labour. People must be vigilant about this," says Kural Amuthan, Director, Research & Partnership, International Justice Mission.
Here’s a quick guide to how you can help.
What is Trafficking?
Human trafficking is the acquisition of people by means such as force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them. Smuggling of migrants involves arranging for illegal entry of a person into a State of which that person is not a national or resident for financial or other material benefit
How traffickers work
*Using force or any other form of coercion
*By practicing fraud or deception
* By abuse of power
* By inducements, including the giving or receiving of payments or benefits
Type of trafficked victims
*Sex-trafficking: Domestic minor sex trafficking occurs when persons under the age of 18 are commercially sexually exploited.
*Bonded labour: Where all the work is done under the menace of a penalty or the person has not offered himself voluntarily and is now unable to leave.
*Domestic servitude: This includes the obligation to provide certain services and the obligation to live on another person's property
* Child labour: Employment of children in any work that deprives them of their childhood, interferes with their schooling, and that is mentally, physically, socially or morally dangerous and harmful
You can identify trafficked victims at the following places:
* Airports * Railway Stations * Business enterprises * Hospitals * Bus stands
How can they be identified?
* They are likely to travel in large groups along with the entire family. They may carry all their possessions.
* They may not know where they are going, and may be from the same State/district/community/caste
* They will follow the lead of one or two people
* Likely to be picked up in a large vehicle
* Victims may not have documents in their own possession.
* They may not answer questions and will avoid eye contact when addressed
* Children may have bruises, wounds, or a heavy appetite
Communities/other pointers to watch out for
1. Families from Bihar, Orissa, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh are often made to work as bonded labourers in brick-kilns, poultry farms, egg tray units etc.
2. Families belonging to Irular & Arundadiyar castes are highly vulnerable to bonded labour. They are often seen working in brick-kilns, rice mills, wood-cutting units sugarcane farms, stone quarries, agriculture and traditional forms of work
3. Advertisements with offers to work in countries like Malaysia, UK, Qatar and the middle east in jobs related to construction, nursing and house work could entrap applicants in bonded labour, domestic servitude or sex-trafficking.
What can WE do?
Inform concerned authorities
* Airport police
* Railway authorities
* Police stations
* State Human Rights Commission
* District Collectorate officials