Expert panel to submit report on trafficked children this week

Committee begins probe by meeting the foster caregivers

The expert committee constituted by the State government to study the condition of 16 trafficked children, separated from their foster caregivers, is expected to submit its report in the next three to four days.

The committee, which began its probe on Monday, met the caregivers. Psychiatrist Rajashekar from K.R. Hospital in Mysuru is expected to start examining the 16 children, who are now housed in three different children’s homes in Mysuru and Mandya districts, from Tuesday.

“After studying various aspects of the case, we will submit a report to the government in the next three to four days,” child rights activist Nina Nayak, who is a member of the committee, told The Hindu .

The children — aged between a few months to six — were admitted to children’s homes after the Mysuru district police blew the lid off a major child trafficking racket involving maternity homes. Unwed mothers approaching hospitals for abortion were allegedly convinced by the racketeers to deliver the babies, which were reportedly sold to childless couples.

While two children were seized by the police before they were handed over to the purchasers, another two were brought up by the traffickers themselves as they were unable to sell them.

The caregivers of the remaining 12 children deposed before the committee, headed by Deputy Director of Women and Child Development, Mysuru, K. Radha, and child rights experts, including District Child Protection Officer Padma, representative of Special Juvenile Police Unit Kala Krishnaswamy, who is also the Additional Superintendent of Mysuru district police, manager of Bapuji Children’s Home Nanda Prasad, and Mandya District Child Welfare Committee member Venkatesh.

“Though the caregivers appear gullible and had nurtured the children well, they are on the wrong side of the law as they had purchased the children, who had not been declared free for adoption by the authorities,” said Ms. Nayak.

Fake certificates

The committee also seized fake birth certificates given by the racketeers as part of the deal. The committee was in favour of a deeper probe into the antecedents and background of the caregivers. Though there were no claimants to the babies, police investigations have helped trace the biological parents of a few of the children, she said.

Meanwhile, advocate and People’s Legal Forum (PLF) Director Baburaj met the committee members and made out a strong case for reuniting the children with their foster caregivers as there was a strong bond between them. The process of legalising the adoption as per the stipulation of the Central Adoption Resource Authority can be followed, he said.

The Director of Department of Women and Child Development had constituted the committee to study the condition of the children and recommend a course of action that was in the best interest of the children. The committee is expected to submit a report to the government as well as the Mysuru District Child Welfare Committee. “The report will be recommendatory in nature,” Ms. Nayak added.

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Printable version | Apr 10, 2020 9:29:14 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/Expert-panel-to-submit-report-on-trafficked-children-this-week/article16743297.ece

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