SURAT: A team of the Rajasthan and Gujarat child rights commissions, the former's anti-human trafficking unit and an NGO jointly rescued 138 children in the 10-16 age group from Surat on Sunday, officials said.
These children were brought from Rajasthan to work in the city's textile sector, hotels and as domestic workers, they said.
The children were rescued after these teams, along with that of Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi's NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolnan, raided an apartment in Puna locality here, an official said.
Twelve people were held in the raid and have been handed over to Surat police, he said.
"Of the 138 children rescued, 128 are from Rajasthan, the rest from Jharkhand and Uttar Pradesh. Twelve people have been detained and handed over to police, though the kingpin is missing," Shailendra Pandya, Rajasthan State Commission for Protection of Child Rights member said.
"They were kept in inhuman conditions and were made to work in the textile sector, hotels and as domestic workers. Most of the children are from tribal areas of Rajasthan and were trafficked to Surat to provide cheap labour," Pandya said.
He said further action would include counselling of children to help them overcome the distress of being child labourers and lodging of case in Rajasthan.