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Closing the door on child trafficking

Every day children like Noha are trafficked in countries all over the world. Photo courtesy of UnitingWorld
INIDA IS a country that overwhelms the senses.

Visitors describe it as vibrant, expressive, hectic, hot, confronting, charming and spiritual.

But amongst the romance sits a dark reality where vulnerable children living in poverty come face to face with the realities of sex trafficking and child labour.

With Nepal to the north, Sri Lanka to the south, China and Bangladesh to the east and Pakistan to the west, there are an unbelievable number of people moving through North East India.

Many of its communities suffer the effects of extreme poverty.

As a result, children who are poor and vulnerable often become victims of human traffickers for slave labour. At just 10 years of age, Noha (not her real name) was forced to drop out of school because her family were unable to pay her fees.

Instead, she had to work and contribute money to the household.

When a wealthy family in North Bengal sent a scout to look for a domestic cleaner, they promised good pay and treatment to Noha, together with shelter and sufficient food.

For the next two years Noha was rarely allowed contact with her parents.

She toiled long hours from dawn, seven days a week, earning less than $0.50 a day.

Her body grew weaker as she washed heavy clothes and linen by hand.

The day Noha refused a task, due to exhaustion, she was beaten beyond recognition.

After hospitalisation, she was sent home – with only the clothes on her back.

UnitingWorld’s Anti-Trafficking program, operating in partnership with the Church of North India, seeks to give hope to boys and girls like Noha.

The program builds awareness about the dangers of being tricked into slave labour and prostitution, with an aim of expanding into counselling and support for survivors.

There are currently around 2.6 million children in India aged between five and 14 trapped in forced labour.

The most common destinations for trafficked children are brothels, factories and domestic homes.

For more information click here or phone 1800 000 331

Photo : Every day children like Noha are trafficked in countries all over the world. Photo courtesy of UnitingWorld