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CHILDLINE 1098 Service » Case Studies » Trafficking » CHILDLINE and the Crime Branch of the Delhi Police rescue 72 commercial sex workers from GB Road

With assistance from a woman rescued from commercial sex trade back in 2010, CHILDLINE and a police team (Delhi and Andhra) rescue 72 commercial sex workers, including 16 minors from brothels at GB Road in Delhi.

As a victim of commercial sex trade in her early twenties, Reena (name changed) registered a case in the Anantpur district of Andhra Pradesh in July 2011. Based on her registered complaint against a brothel in Delhi, the CID team from Andhra Pradesh came to Delhi to conduct a raid. They were successful in rescuing 17 women from Andhra Pradesh of which two were minors. The two children were produced before the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) by CHILDLINE the following day, in order to record their statements and get direction for them.

During the course of the raid, 13 traffickers of which 12 were women, were also arrested and taken to Andhra Pradesh to be tried. The operation was carried out by a 20 member CID team from Andhra Pradesh, 15 member team of the the Delhi Police Crime Branch and CHILDLINE team members. The rescue lasted almost 4 hours wherein girls were found in congested rooms at the location. They had been promised jobs in the city of Delhi as a bait to leave Andhra Pradesh.

Surprisingly, many of the women who came from West Bengal, Maharashtra and Karnataka did not wish to leave the brothel. They admitted to choosing to be there and did not want to be rehabilitated to their home town. The 13 traffickers were produced in a court for a transit remand before they were taken to Andhra Pradesh for further investigation.

Outreach programmes at CHILDLINE form an integral part of creating awareness for the 1098 number across the nooks and corners of urban and rural India. Outreach for CHILDLINE is an everyday feature. Members of the CHILDLINE team go out on the street and create awareness about CHILDLINE. This direct method of reaching out to children is the strongest method of getting the CHILDLINE message through, especially to children. CHILDLINE conducts both day and night outreach programmes. Often, cases are reported and identified during an outreach.

On a bright sunny summer day, the CHILDLINE Mumbai team set out to spread awareness on CHILDLINE.

The first interaction during the Outreach programme was with the Police at Churchgate Station. A group of 10 Police Personnel gathered to listen to what the CHILDLINE team had to say. Acquainting the Police with the work done by CHILDLINE is necessary as they form a crucial body that directly interacts with children in distress. Often, CHILDLINE and the Police work in close quarters to protect the rights of a child.

The programme moved on to the Dabbawallas. In Mumbai, the dabbawallas use almost every mode of the available transport system- from walking to all the public transport. Hence, they come in contact with vulnerable children at different junctures during their drop offs. The CHILDLINE team spoke to about 15 dabbawallas in the vicinity about the 1098 service. They listened attentively and had a lot of questions to ask too.

Finally, the team reached the College of Commerce and Law. The team met with the principal and the staff members who were overwhelmed with the work done by CHILDLINE. The principal ensured the team that leaflets would be put on all the notice boards across the college premises and that arrangements would be made to address the work done by CHILDLINE in each lecture room. Through this a lot of college students were also acquainted.

A large number of children in India end up within institutional care. Therefore, institutions for children need to function as substitute families, and must provide for the child's physical, emotional and development needs. In many cases, it is the 'care-givers' i.e. those who are entrusted with the care of the children in institutions, who are the abusers. Recently, there has been a significant increase in the number of cases of abuse-physical and sexual in institutions. Improving the quality of child care in residential institutions and shelters is a major challenge that needs to be addressed.