The Supreme Court on Monday issued notice to Centre and state governments in a plea seeking framing of Government guidelines on prevention of trafficking in children and their rescue and rehabilitation in the wake of Covid-19.
The Public Interest litigation (PIL) has been filed by an NGO, Bachpan bachao Andolan which was founded by Kailash Satyarthi, a nobel peace laureate.
The Top court bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising AS Bopanna and Hrishikesh Roy observed that children are mostly used for child labour and asked Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to research on this issue and suggest a mechanism to curb this menace.
“The issues exist because there is a market for engaging child labour,” said the Chief Justice Bobde.
Senior Advocate H S Phoolka, representing the petitioners urged that all the district Child welfare Committees should be involved and with a proactive approach should device a mechanism to prevent the trafficking.
The three judge bench also discussed about setting up a commit to look into this issue but this not pass any direction to this effect. They decided to hear the response and listed the case after two weeks.
The petitioner also seeks directions from the Apex court to direct all states to mandatorily activate their anti human trafficking Units to prevent and take appropriate action on child trafficking.
The petition filed on 29 April alleges that based on intelligence and information collected by the petitioner, the traffickers have already become active in various areas all over the country and are tapping on the vulnerabilities of poor families by coercing or inducing them into selling their children. He also claims that there has been a spike in the child trafficking cases amid the pandemic. Child labour and sex trafficking cases are on rise as an impact of the lockdown and consequent economic downswing as per the NGO