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Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Children in India cheaper than buffaloes

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Traffickers are selling children in India for amounts that are often lower than the cost of animals and most of them end up working as laborers or commercial sex workers, activists said on Tuesday.

"Children are purchased like buffaloes," said Bhuvan Ribhu of Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), quoting a study that is due to be released later this year.

"While buffaloes may cost up to 15,000 rupees ($350), children are sold at prices between 500 and 2,000 rupees ($12 and $45)," he told Reuters.

For instance, two brothers in Bihar were recently given away for 250 rupees ($6) each by their parents and trafficked out of the state in connivance with police, Ribhu said.

The group estimates that children account for 40 to 50 percent of all victims of human trafficking. They are sold to work as domestic laborers, or in the carpet industry, on farms or as commercial sex workers.

The traffickers-police connection was so strong in some parts of the country that traffickers scout freely and children rescued from brothels and bonded labor were often victims again, he said.


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