Press Release- 58 child labourers rescued in the capital on the eve of World Day Against Child Labour


New Delhi, 11th June 2013 Ten year old Nadeem (name changed) was extremely confused when he was rescued from a electric appliance making unit in Badali. The confusion became grimmer when he refused to tell his parent’s name and address. Actually, he did not remember his village’s name, not even his parent’s face. Who brought him here and where he came from – are the questions yet to be answered.

Acting on a complaint filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), on the eve of 12th June, the World Against Child Labour, law enforcement authorities have rescued 58 children from 6 different locations in the capital today. 56 boys have been working in various factories engaged in making plastic coolers, fans, polishing and making electric molding, etc., whereas 2 girls were freed from domestic servitude. Rescue operations have been carried out in 5 different factories and at a placement agency running under the garb of welfare organisation (NGO).

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Founder BBA, said, “When the world would be observing the day against child labour tomorrow, over 215 million children would be languishing in various forms of child labour including slavery in its ugliest form, whereas over 200 million adults are without jobs. We strongly demand that child labour must be made a cognizable and non-bailable offense. Special courts should be established to take time bound action. A fine of at least Rs. 1,00,000 be recovered from each erring employer and an effective rehabilitation must be guaranteed under the law.

It is shameful that in 2010 and 2011 only 1592 employers have been convicted for employing child labourers, i.e, approximately one employer per district per year showing clearly a blatant disregard for the guidelines of the Supreme Court of India.”  He also urged the people to boycott all services and goods produced by the children.

It is pertinent to note that in the period of five years (2007-2011) 1255987 inspections were conducted but only 17884 violations have been detected and 4263 people were convicted.

Most of the child labourers rescued today have been trafficked for forced and bonded labour from West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh after paying advance to their parents. The rescued girls belonged to Uttar Pradesh. Working from 8 am till late night in small, gloomy, and suffocating room in the heat with little or no medical care and attention has resulted in skin rashes and wound marks on their body especially hands, telling the pathetic conditions in which they were forced to live and work. The children were not allowed to talk to their parents back home without the permission of employer. On an average children were getting Rs. 50-100 per week as wage.

Mr. SC Yadav Deputy Labour Commissioner North-West District said, “We will keep executing such exercise in future also. The fine of Rs. 20,000, as per the direction of Supreme Court of India, will be recovered from each and every erring employer along with all the back-wages.”

The SDM present during the rescue operation refused to declare children as bonded labourers citing logistical compulsions of appearance during trial. Thereby berefting the children of comprehensive rehabilitation package under Bonded Labour System Abolition Act 1976.

For further information contact:

SDM (Alipur): 9555189618

DLC (North West): 9811165128

Rakesh Senger (BBA): 9212023778

 

Supreme Court of India directs registration of over 75,000 cases of missing children




May 21, 2013, New Delhi
: The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India issued landmark directions for the protection of missing children and other child victims of crimes in the country. In a petition filed by Bachpan Bachan Andolan (BBAon the issue of missing children and trafficking, a bench headed by Hon’ble Chief Justice of India Mr. Justice Altamas Kabir and comprising of Hon’ble Mr. Justice Vikramajit Sen and Hon’ble Mr. Justice Sharad Arvind Bobde issued the directions.

Accepting the contentions made by the petitioner BBA, the Hon’ble Supreme Court issued the following directions including:-

  • All cases of missing children in India to be registered as a cognizable offence (as First Information Report) and investigated.
  • In cases where First Information Reports have not been lodged at all and the child is still missing, an F.I.R. should be lodged within a month – this figure is 75,808 for the period 2009 – 2011 alone.
  • In all missing children cases, there will be a presumption of the crime of kidnapping or trafficking unless proven otherwise from investigation – this is a landmark precedent as for the first time of “presumption of crime” for vulnerable sections of society is recognised.
  • All complaints regarding children (for non cognizable offences), to be investigated after referring them to a magistrate.
  • Each police station should have, at least, one Police Officer, especially instructed and trained and designated as a Juvenile Welfare Officer to investigate crimes against children.
  • National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) to appoint para-legal volunteers, so that there is, at least, one para- legal volunteer, in shifts, in the police station to keep a watch over the manner in which the  complaints  regarding  missing  children  and other offences against children, are dealt with.
  • A computerized programme (website), which  would  create  a network between the Central Child Protection Unit as the Head  of  the Organization and all State  Child  Protection  Units,  District Child Protection Units, City  Child  Protection Units,  Block  Level  Child Protection Units,  all  Special  Juvenile  Police  Units,  all  Police stations,  all  Juvenile  Justice  Boards  and   all Child Welfare Committees, etc. to be created as a central data bank.    
  • Photographs of the recovered child to be put up on  the  website and  through the newspapers and even on the T.V. so that the parents of the missing child could locate their  missing child and recover him or her from the  custody  of  the  police. 
  • A  Standard Operating Procedure (SoP) must be developed to handle the cases  of  missing  children and to invoke appropriate provisions of law where trafficking, child labour, abduction,  exploitation and similar issues are disclosed during investigation or after the recovery  of  the  child. 
  • BBA to assist in developing the Standard Operating Procedure (SoP), and also, BBA to be the nodal agency for All India Legal Aid Cell on Child Rights, flagship scheme of NALSA to provide legal aid to any child in need of care and protection in the country.
  • A missing child has been defined as, “a person below eighteen years of age, whose whereabouts are not known to  the parents, legal guardians and any other person, who may be legally entrusted with the custody of the child, whatever may be the circumstances/causes of disappearance. The child will be considered missing and in need of care and protection within the meaning of the later part of the Juvenile Act, until located and/or his/her safety/well being is established.”

  • Even after recovery of the missing child, the police  shall  carry  out  further investigation  to  see  whether  there  is  an  involvement  of any trafficking in the procedure by which the child went missing. 
  • The State authorities shall arrange for adequate Shelter Homes to be provided for missing children, who are  recovered and do not have any place to go to within 3 months. 

Arguing on the behalf of petitioner Bachpan Bachan AndolanMr. H.S. Phoolka, Senior Advocate said “Every hour 10 children go missing. Out of these only one case is registered and investigated. There is no hope for the poor parents whose children go missing”.

BBA had under taken a pioneering research for three years on the issue of missing children, following which this writ petition (Writ Petition Civil 75/ 2012 – Bachpan Bachao Andolan vs Union of India and Others) has been filed.

As per official government data, in India, during the period from 2009 to 2011 number of children that have gone missing are 2, 36, 014 and out of them 75,808 are still untraced. However, only 34,899 FIRs have been registered in all. These directions from Supreme Court will come as a relief to those hundreds of thousands of parents whose children have been kidnapped and are still untraced without any assistance from law enforcement authorities.

Mr. Kailash Satyarthi, Founder, BBA said “It is a watershed moment not only in our three decade fight in restoring childhood but has also brought a fresh lease of hope for hundreds of thousands of missing children and their hapless parents, whose cries remained unheard due to the absence of legal protection and apathy of enforcement machinery. Our argument that children do not disappear in thin air but go missing because of an organized nexus of traffickers and mafias, has been finally upheld by the highest court of the land today”.

Mr. R. S. Chaurasia, Chairperson, BBA added that, “BBA will rigorously follow the enforcement of this landmark judgment and extends its support to the government in this regard”.

For more information please contact:-

Om Prakash

9015125007

 

IMMEDIATE RELEASE-SC directs compulsory registration of FIRs in all missing children cases


Press Release

 

17 Jan., 2013, New Delhi:  In a major breakthrough, the Supreme Court of India has passed landmark directions for registration of First Information Reports (FIRs) in every complaint of missing children in the country.

In a writ petition filed by Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA), a Supreme Court bench headed by a Chief Justice of India, Justice Altamas Kabir, and of Justice Vikramjit Sen and Justice Jasti Chelameswar, has expressed serious dissatisfaction over the lukewarm response from all state governments from across the country on the issue of missing children. The Court has summoned the Chief Secretaries of Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Himachal Pradesh, Goa and Arunachal Pradesh, to appear in person on 5th Feb. 2013, as these states have even failed to appear before the court and had not filed any status reports.

Accepting the arguments of Mr. H.S. Phoolka (Senior Adv.) and Mr. Jagjit Chhabra (Advocate on Record) appearing for the petitioner that every day hundreds of children are going missing without a trace and law enforcement agencies are not serious in their efforts to stop this crime and immediate steps for the recovery of these children must be taken, the Court directed immediate registration of FIRs. The Court has also accepted recommendations of the National Human Rights Commission to set up Special Juvenile Police Units at every police station across the country with a dedicated Child Welfare Officer/Special Juvenile Police Officer, to swiftly act in cases of all children in need of care and protection as well as in conflict with law.

According to BBA, almost 100,000 children go missing, with over 30,000 remaining untraced each year in the country (as per National Crime Records Bureau data). However, less than 10,000 cases are ever registered. Mr. R. S. Chaurasia, Chairperson BBA said, “Govt. Accepts that 7 children go missing every hour. In the absence of a clear definition of ‘missing child’ coupled up with apathy, lackadaisical approach and no respect for children especially those belonging to the poorer sections of society, these directions of the Supreme Court will be a shot in the arm for our efforts against organised crime of trafficking involving these missing children.

“Many times the complaints from parents, especially those of adolescent girls, result in insensitive and lewd remarks from the police that the girl may have eloped with her lover, leaving the parents in lurch for tracing their children all by themselves”, he added.

 

Warm Regards

 

Shri. R.S Chaurasia

Chairperson,

Bachpan Bachao Andolan

 

 

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