Madhya Pradesh: Rescued ‘trafficked’ kids handed over for foster care to families who bought them illegally

Bhopal: The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has taken cognizance of inter state child trafficking racket case that was busted a few months ago in Alirajpur. In its letter, the commission has stated that the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has received information regarding a multi- state child sale racket from its partner organization, Aawaj, working in Madhya Pradesh for child rights.

Travesty of justice

Aawaj members played a crucial role in uncovering the racket by acting as decoy customers while working with the police. In a strange twist however, authorities then handed over the sold children for foster care back to the same families who had bought them in the name of good bonding. The AHRC strongly condemned such an ill thought decision and demanded proper foster care for the children.

It said an effective and timely investigation into the case must also be undertaken and those found guilty must be prosecuted.

By now, the police have arrested a total 28 persons, including one doctor, four hospital staff and some of the male customers. Yet, in a strange twist and travesty of justice afterwards, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of District Alirajpur, the nodal agency for the protection and welfare of children handed over many of the children to the very same families that have bought them.

The logic given by CWC

  • The logic that the CWC gave for its order on “Foster Care” under Section 44 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, (hereafter JJ Act) on 19 November 2018 was that the children had bonded well with the families.
  • In the case of 12-month-old Kunjan, for instance, the girl was given into illegal adoption and a criminal case was registered at Kotwali Police Station Alirajpur on November 17, 2018 with Pushpendra Wani being one of the main accused. The CWC ignored this completely and gave Kunjan back to Jaibal Wani, wife of Pushpendra Wani.
  • Further, the JJ Act requires that children below the age group of 6 should be prioritized for being placed into adoption. Yet, the CWC handed over the child victims under 6 for foster care to the family of accused itself.