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India's Child Trafficking Is Facing An Increase During The Pandemic

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During a bus raid in Jaipur, India, the authorities have found 18 children on the bus, allegedly for the purpose of child trafficking. "In a period of just two weeks, we have raided three buses coming from Bihar to Jaipur and rescued 50 children destined for child labor," said Police Inspector Rajendra Khandelwal.

Children under the age of 14 are prevented under the India's legal system to work by any means. Some of the children found were as young as 11 years old. The increase in trafficking rates are reported to be directly related to the pandemic. While many families are struggling to survive, let alone make ends meet, many children are forced into child trafficking. 

The children were tempted by older men with as little as 500 Rupees and a promise of a vacation in Jaipur. The children would feel obligated to go in return for the monetary compensation that would help with their family's situation. They would then be taken and trafficked. 

"I thought if I go and get a job, then I can send some money home for my family to eat and and for them to be happy," said one of the boys who was found. The children were kept locked in a room and forced to work all day for months on end and were not allowed to leave. They were only allowed to eat at the very end of the day and were beaten when they couldn't perform their work. "Traffickers have taken advantage of the acute poverty of families," said Khandelwal. 

Source: CNN