NEW DELHI: India and Nepal should take urgent steps to prevent child trafficking amid the growing level of poverty due to the pandemic, said Nobel Peace Laureate and Bachpan Bachao Andolan founder Kailash Satyarthi on Thursday. BBA hosted a bilateral virtual Indo-Nepal Dialogue on Trafficking of Children Across Borders along with Swatantra Abhiyaan and BASE, Nepal.
Dignitaries urged the two governments to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which may be designed in a manner similar to the MoU signed by India and Myanmar on bilateral cooperation for Prevention of Trafficking in Persons.
“Children in India and Nepal are suffering from the effects of the pandemic. With rising poverty and unemployment, along with school closures, they are at a higher risk of trafficking, both within borders and across the border. Both countries must recognise and prevent this. Next year is the UN Year for the Elimination of Child Labour,” said Satyarthi urging government officials, law enforcement and civil society of India and Nepal to join the campaign to end child labour.
The dialogue brought together multiple stakeholders who highlighted the importance of including law enforcement officials, civil society organizations, child survivors and research institutions from the two countries. The speakers discussed the need for a portal on traffickers which can be used by law enforcement agencies of both countries.
Survivors also shared their stories at the virtual event. “If we are unable to secure a child’s present, then how do we expect children to be the future? There is an urgent need to take stringent action against trafficking,” said Arbind Kumar, a child labour survivor who now works with the BBA.