Protect children from exploitation during CWG: NGOs

Over five lakh children in the national capital are likely to succumb to prostitution during the upcoming Commonwealth Games, estimate rights activists.

Updated: Jun 11, 2010, 16:14 PM IST

New Delhi: Over five lakh children in the national capital are likely to succumb to prostitution, the rising demand for labour and displacement from their homes during the upcoming Commonwealth Games here, estimate rights activists.

The government should implement a stringent policy to protect children, thereby informing every establishment under it to follow the rules and guidelines and not get involved in illegal ways of minting money, they add.

"We have requested the authorities to issue a circular to hotels and restaurants and various bread and breakfast centres in the city to highlight the child protection laws at
the entrance of their establishments," says Sanjay Gupta of Chetna, an NGO, which says it has credible information about the expected rise in demand of child labour for prostitution and trafficking during the Games.

According to civil society estimates, there are five lakh child labourers in the capital which includes beggars, domestic helps, casual labourers etc. During the Commonwealth
Games in October the demand for child labour is expected to shoot up.

"Children and women will be most vulnerable during the games in the city. Trafficking will increase, either it is boy or girl as demand will be higher. The traffickers will be
expecting to make more money," says Kalyani, board member of Jagori, an NGO.

"We have just learnt that the city red-light area GB road is being renovated for Commonwealth Games. The demand for Asian girls is expected to rise," says Sanjay Gupta from Chetna.
"Athletes go for massages during Games event and we fear children may be used there as well. The bread and breakfast scheme of the Delhi Government may increase the demand of domestic workers in which use of children is anticipated. The guidelines does not mention that children will not work," he adds.

In the run up to the CWG, the Delhi Government has launched an anti-begging drive. According to reports, there are more than 60 thousand beggars in the capital, where more than 25,000 are children.
"There has to be systematic protocol. Beggary needs a complete rehabilitation," says Sanjay Joshi from Bal Sahyog, an NGO which works for children.