THE HINDU: 1,600 children rescued from trafficking in Rajasthan with RPF’s help | Kailash Satyarthi US

Bachpan Bachao Andolan facilitated the arrest of 337 alleged traffickers in collaboration with the Railway Protection Force.

The Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) has rescued over 1,600 children from trafficking and facilitated the arrest of 337 alleged traffickers in collaboration with the Railway Protection Force (RPF) in Rajasthan during the last two years. It has been claimed to be one of the largest operations in the world undertaken to check child trafficking.

A report titled “Railways: Making the break in trafficking”, released at the 18th World Security Congress in Jaipur on Tuesday (main image), stated that the people at all major railway stations were being sensitised about the issue of child trafficking. The passengers and vendors were being encouraged to report any suspected cases of trafficking, it said.

The three-day security congress was organised by the Union Internationale des Chemins (UIC) or International Union of Railways, which is headquartered in Paris. The UIC is a worldwide association representing the railway sector for research, development and promotion of rail transport.

BBA founder and child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi said the organisation, working against child labour and human trafficking, would leverage technological solutions to tighten vigil at railway stations, identify traffickers, share leads with the RPF to expedite rescue and prevent re-trafficking. The BBA signed an agreement with the RPF in May 2022 for working together to make the Railways trafficking-free.

Mr. Satyarthi, a co-recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, said the BBA along with the RPF would develop a child protection policy to safeguard the children who come in contact with Railways. “The BBA adopted picketing and engaged with the RPF to intercept trains and save the victims following the ease of COVID-19 lockdown, when the families facing starvation fell to traffickers’ lure,” he said.

RPF Director-General Sanjay Chander said the Railways would evolve innovative solutions to meet the current security challenges. The congress was dedicated to the theme, “Railway security strategy: Responses and vision for future”. UIC Director-General Francois Davenne was among those present.

Originally published at The Hindu, 23 February 2023, available here. Image copyright: Bachpan Bachao Andolan.