The crime of child trafficking has existed for eons and is nothing new to the world. Except for the fact that it grows more and more horrifying with every passing moment. Children, especially ones who are not from financially well-off families and backgrounds are terrifyingly vulnerable to the clutches of trafficking. Such a horror was experienced by the family of an infant, barely 4 years of age. She was simply playing outside her home in Navi Mumbai on Thursday morning when she was abducted.
This was near the Nerul Station, when she disappeared, as her parents grew exceedingly worried when she did not return home, they filed a complaint with the police. Once the investigation of the crime began in earnest, the first step was searching for any and all footage of the girl the day she went missing. Even though the kidnapper, now identified as Mani Thomas, is an elderly man aged 74 years old, it begs a larger question; how big of a danger is child trafficking in India, and on a worldwide scale?
The Indian Girl Crime Crisis
India has emerged as a terrifying capital for criminal activity, concerning child trafficking, but more specifically, the trafficking of underage girls. The event concerning this 4-year-old girl, while undoubtedly horrifying, is just the tip of the iceberg of the child trafficking crisis in India. According to Save The Children, 1.2 million children are trafficked at any given moment of the day.
An even more horrifying fact is that many of these girls are trafficked into red-light districts, and of the percentage of children trafficked, according to the India National Crime Records Bureau, girls encompass 45.4% of human trafficking victims. This poses a conclusion of extremely petrifying proportions.
The Global Dilemma
According to Save The Children, nearly 168 million children are trafficked into forced labour. Of all human trafficking victims, children form 27%, while 2 in 3 children are girls. Studies and data suggest that girls are predisposed to being victims of trafficking, putting them at a heightened risk. There are some common misconceptions regarding the prevalence of child trafficking being limited to developing countries, however, studies show that the US is one of the most active sex trafficking countries in the world, and of them 60% are children.
The rates of child trafficking vary across the globe, but at the end of the day, it comes down to a variety of factors, most notably, the involvement of the government. The popular period film by Sanjay Leela Bhansali, Gangubai Kathiawadi is based on a real-life story of a young girl who was sold to a brothel by her boyfriend at age 16, to do sex work against her will in the 1950s.
This is a clear mirror into the lives of multiple children who were forced into these lines of work. The 4-year-old girl from Mumbai was extremely lucky to be saved when she was, but it can be terrifying to think about the children who are being trafficked right now, and what is happening to them.