BBA is known for its multi-faceted intervention model, which includes raid and rescue operations to liberate enslaved children and the provision of follow-up care in BBA’s rehabilitation centers.
In the 1980s and 1990s, no adequate law on child trafficking and exploitation against children was in place and intervention was not only challenging, but genuinely dangerous. Few BBA activists have even lost their lives in raid operations and our team has frequently been attacked. The danger of retaliation through employers of child labour remains also today. We are now working in 18 states and have until now rescued more than 82,800 children from the carpet industry, glass industry, brick kilns, stone quarry processes, the shoe industry, Zari/ embroidery industry, the domestic sector and other hazardous occupations and processes.
Why we do it - Several rights have been guaranteed to children in the Constitution of India, such as equality before the law, free and compulsory primary education for children up to the age of fourteen years, the prohibition of trafficking and forced labour of children and the prohibition of child labour in hazardous occupations and processes. BBA believes in creating and ensuring a child friendly nation, in which children enjoy their constitutional rights and in which every child lives a life in dignity and is free from exploitation.
How we do it - We perform rescue operations where child labour is rampant and trafficking of children for forced labour is visible. We provide legal -, judicial - and administrative assistance and psycho-social welfare to the victims. We also ensure their proper rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
BBA activists identify places such as factories and other work spaces that employ children. Child labourers in need of immediate care and protection are identified for rescue. Relevant information regarding child labourers such as number of children employed, age of the children, work place, working conditions, type of work, type of industry, etc. is also collected.
Following the stage of identification, BBA activists file a complaint to the Deputy Commissioner, based on the information collected. We also collect complaints from parents, concerned citizens and children themselves.
Before the rescue operation, the Deputy Commissioner arranges a meeting with all District Task Force (DTF) members, during which the members discuss and plan the rescue operation and fix the date of the raid.
On the agreed date, all DTF members gather before moving to the raid location, where the children are working. During the rescue operations, utmost care is taken to protect the children, both physically and psychologically. After the rescue, the children are sent to the Sub Divisional Magistrate's office for care and protection.
Socio-economic rehabilitation of rescued child labourers is a crucial step to ensure that a child is re-integrated into society and is not re-trafficked. As ordered by the Child Welfare Committee, children are sent to a short term rehabilitation center/home (Mukti Ashram), directly after their rescue.
In Mukti Ashram, the child remains until all legal formalities are taken care of by BBA. Afterwards, the child is repatriated back to the family. Following repatriation, BBA keeps in touch with the rescued children and their families. The objective of the follow-up care is to ensure that children receive state benefits, to which they are entitled as well as well as access to education.
Several steps are taken, to ensure an adequate follow up strategy. In the first step, BBA writes to the District Magistrate (DM), providing a list of rescued children, on the basis of which the relevant compensatory schemes are determined. A cover letter is also sent to the DM, written by the guardian of the children, in which information such as the rescue date, the place of rescue and a copy of release certificate is provided.
Receiving social welfare schemes is a very slow process. Our local activists accompany families during this time and pay them three home visits to ensure the re-integration of children. We check whether a child is safe and secure. BBA also ensures that the child has access to relevant schemes, including BPL Card, Annapurna Yojana, Indira Awas Yojana, National Health Insurance Policy, Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, & Social Security Pension Scheme. If any of the services is not provided, the activists meet the local administration and ask them to help the child in getting the relevant scheme.
Simultaneously, BBA also empowers the parents about these schemes and makes them aware how they can enforce their rights. BBA also provides them with counseling, thereby making them aware about the ill effects of child labour and human trafficking.