An innovative model started in 1980, the programme is aimed at protecting children from slavery and returning them to safe and healthy environments. This is an end-to-end programme in which the victims of trafficking are identified and restored to their families before a safe environment is created for them in their native places, while at the same time deterrence is created by prosecuting traffickers and employers. This programme is implemented in partnership with the government in ways in which BBA is a complainant as well as a facilitator. These objectives are achieved through three broad processes.
BBA’s rescue process is a thoroughly researched one with intensive and extensive preparation. It is conducted as per provisions of law as a part of collective action with designated Government agencies. The process often involves physical risks to our activists. There have been instances where our activists have faced violent attacks while attempting to rescue children. They, however, have continued undeterred. Their commitment to save Childhoods through rescues remains unchallenged.
- Information Gathering: Information about the presence of child labour is gathered through various discreet field operations, involving partner NGOs, previously rescued children, local contacts and others. Details such as location industry type, the approximate number of child labourers, type of work etc are covered. A physical verification of locations or places of employment is conducted to confirm the presence of children.BBA has recently introduced a GIS based technology for accurate location and record of Child Labour through smartphones. This has introduced greater reliability in rescue operations.
- Complaint: Following the identification of Children in forced labour, a complaint is filed with the authorities concerned for the rescue of the target children. Action is then taken with the district task forces (DTFs), the police, labour department, magistracy and others
- Rescue: Raids are conducted on the basis of complaints. Once rescued, the children are lawfully removed from the scene of exploitation in collaboration with law enforcement agencies. BBA ensures, at this stage, that the children are safely transferred to a safe environment (Child Care Institution) after orders of the Child Welfare Committee, a statutory body. This is followed by registration of first information reports (FIRs) under applicable sections of Law and action is taken against traffickers and employers which includes filing of criminal cases and sealing of factories.
Data for past five years - 2014-2019
(age under 18)
(for 1,231 children)
children's home visits
- Immediate Support: To provide immediate care and protection to the rescued children, BBA has established a short-term rehabilitation home in Delhi, ‘Mukti Ashram’, as a first place of safety for them. The rescued children are provided with medical aid, food, clothing, recreational facilities and counselling until they are repatriated. We also help them recover their back wages, grant of release certificates and apply for compensation. We offer advisory support services to children in other child care institutions.
- Long-Term Support: Children are also supported legally to complete their repatriation process after which, as per CWC guidelines, they are either reunited with their families, or in other cases, moved to BBA’s long-term rehabilitation facility, Bal Ashram, or any other long-term rehabilitation home, till they attain the age of 18, if their parents cannot be located or they are incapable of supporting or taking care of their wards.
This process starts immediately after a child is rescued and FIRs are filed. BBA provides the children support and takes steps for ensuring that traffickers and offenders are punished by a court of law. The children, who are provided lawyers backed by BBA, also appear and depose as witnesses. An integral part of the process is recovery of compensation, fines and back wages and other legal action against offenders in accordance with the law and government rules and regulations.
- Since most cases of child labour occur because of impoverished backgrounds of families, there is still some probability that the children might be forced to return to the exploitative jobs. We monitor the children after their repatriation, through our Follow-Up programme, at their native places through consistent visits by our community workers.
- Pre-Repatriation: Rescued children are produced before Child Welfare Committees (CWCs) where they are sent to childcare institutions (CCIs).
- Post-Repatriation: This ensures that children are not retrafficked or are not exploited again. This is done by follow-up visits to their homes in their native places.
An important component of the rehabilitation process is sensitising the community to ensure that a rescued child gets a conducive social environment and to check that he or she does not become a victim of trafficking or retrafficking. This process also involves sensitising the district administration so that the child receives all the benefits, rehabilitation packages or statutory compensation in accordance with government rules and regulations.
Networking with school authorities is undertaken to seek their support in the enrollment of rescued children in accordance with the Right to Education Act, 2009. Our CSWs work with the district administration to enable immediate relief and statutory compensation. Other than this, they also ensure that the families are enrolled for welfare schemes such as Annapurna Yojana, Pradhanmantri Awas Yojana, National Health Insurance Policy, MNREGA, Social Security Pension etc. Efforts are made to help them open bank accounts.
The CSW ensures that children receive benefits such as the mid-day meal scheme, Integrated Child Development Scheme, Kishori Shakti Yojna etc. The CSWs take immediate action to provide necessary assistance to children by approaching the department or the local administration concerned.
People’s Vigilance Committees (PVCs) and women’s self-help groups are formed so that children can freely express their concerns and needs. They also act as a support system from the community and institutions such as schools and gram panchayats (village councils).
The Complaint Cell ensures that every child has access to emergency assistance in situations of any abuse, mental or physical, exploitation, conflict or atrocities. . The purpose behind the Complaint Cell was to establish a credible platform primarily for children and which could be used to file a complaint or report an issue of child rights violation. The cell offers immediate assistance through rescue, rehabilitation, legal support and counselling to the child or complainant. We endeavour to provide solutions in the best interests of the children, while maintaining the confidentiality of the complainants. Our actions include direct and indirect interventions.
Who can complain?
- Parents/legal guardian
- A concerned witness
- Government agencies
All written complaints should be addressed to:
Bachpan Bachao Andolan
J-105, Kalkaji, New Delhi – 110019