Save The Children has entered into a partnership with WATConsult and Snapdeal to create awareness about the problem of child trafficking in India to mark International Day Against Trafficking in Persons –launching a campaign titled #KidsNotForSale.
The companies launched a teaser campaign portraying an ‘Amazing Kids Sale’ on Snapdeal, which leads to a hard-hitting campaign that highlights stories of children who are sold for prostitution, kidnapped at birth, made to work in unhealthy conditions, drugged for organ trafficking, or forced to become combatants.
Human trafficking has been dubbed as the third largest crime in the world and India is no stranger to this practice. The campaign pointed out that an estimated seven children go missing every hour. Half of them are never able to return home. Between 2016 and 2017 alone, nearly one lakh children went missing. The conviction rate of these criminals was a dismal 22.7% in 2016.
Pragya Vats, Head of Campaigns, Save the Children, elaborating on the crusade against child trafficking, said, “Children are the easiest target, trafficked and pushed to most harmful forms of labour and abuse, often forced into prostitution, physical labour or domestic work. Young and vulnerable, children are losing their childhood forever to one of the most inhuman practices that remains one of the dark realities – human trafficking. We must break the apathy and build a public momentum to ‘#KidsNot4Sale an innovative initiative, in collaboration with WATConsult, which aims to inspire public action.”
A Spokesperson from Snapdeal, said, “The trafficking of children is a serious and unconscionable issue. This year, we have decided to leverage our kids’ sale store to not just urge the government to enforce strict actions to protect our children but also help Save The Children identify and rescue children, and possibly catch predators through donations from our users.”
Rajiv Dingra, Founder and CEO, WATConsult, said, “This is a fight and a step against odds, an initiative to combat the dark web of trafficking. It was important to spread awareness about such a crucial situation through an innovative route that made one and all feel their role in ending this menace. We are glad to join hands with Save The Children and Snapdeal to help save our kids.”
The Government of India has taken a pioneering step forward by tabling India’s first Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in the Parliament last week. While stringent laws are critical to protect the most vulnerable children, the measures must address rehabilitation of survivors. The #KidsNotForSale campaign aims to urge the government to consider recommendations for not just comprehensive prevention but also rehabilitation, and monitoring and coordination mechanisms that will strengthen the power of the bill.