When Will We Change? By Ishika Paruthi

“How can we put an end to the most abhorrent forms of child labor when the trafficking of children and women continues unabated?” – Carol Bellamy, Executive Director of UNICEF
More and more children are being treated as commodities especially in these trying times! And it doesn’t just end at child labor, these children are then sold for sex work and this inhuman and illegal trade just needs to be stopped. According to a 2016 report, out of the 15,379 people trafficked, 9,034 were children under the age of 18! There are about 20 – 40 million people traded for their bodies yearly across the globe and this statistic is just horrendous and an even worse part is that only 0.4% of the cases are actually identified. This $150 billion dollar industry includes 71% women and girls who are enslaved and are sold for sex which just disgusts me. Most of these children are manipulated and are then exploited for a very long time. They are kept hidden from legal protection, are lured, are brainwashed to feel that these criminals are their families, and then smuggled far away from their homes.
Especially girls are used as servants, denied access to education, and are even trafficked as mail order brides. This is mostly because of debt bondage; parents are in debt of someone and hence sell their child, especially girls, to the criminal trafficking networks to pay off the debt and then regret their decision for all their lives. It is not just sexual exploitation that comes under child bondage but it is definitely one of the most heinous ones. Mostly done in the form of domestic service, this crime has been taking place for a very long time behind closed doors; people exploit their maids and they have to keep shut because of the fear from their community, fear of peoples comment “LOG KYA KAHENGE”, are often paid to keep their mouths shut and are even blackmailed & threatened as well. All these victims are always kept in bondage and are often threatened, abused, and intimidated!
With a lot of people getting poorer and poorer due to the current situation, a lot of young children are being exposed and forced to work and are sold for money, and this mentality needs to be changed. I mean, what has happened to us? even after endless efforts from police, NGOs, as well as international organizations like UNICEF & the UN, the culture around us is not changing, rather people are becoming more heinous and disgusting and that is what makes me sad; we talk about being a feminist and gender equality but that change will not come until we sensitize people about it!
Changing our own perception is the need of the hour!

One Reply to “When Will We Change? By Ishika Paruthi”

  • Totally agree… It’s the time to work our bit… As u rightly stated ,proper sensitization is the need of the hour regarding various negative sides of child labour and how the innocent village people are being lured by traffickers, especially trafficking girl children/adolescent girls giving false hopes of employment in metro cities etc.

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