KOZHIKODE: The social justice department has proposed mandatory DNA test for the children rescued under the ‘Operation Saranabalyam’ project being implemented in Pathanamthitta, Alappuzha, Kollam and Kottayam districts. This is meant to check child labour during the Sabarimala pilgrimage season as it is suspected that child trafficking agents are appearing as parents of the rescued children.
“The involvement of inter-state child trafficking racket is suspected in many cases where children are brought from outside during the season. We have no fool-proof mechanism to ascertain the genuineness of a parent of other state children,” said SJ department special secretary Biju Prabhakar. Accordingly, the blood samples of the child and parent would be tested and if not matching, cases will be charged against the fake parent.
Already eight children have been rescued in the ongoing season. All of them, including three girls, are from other states. Seven of them were working at Pamba, Nilakkal, Laha and Thulapalli in Pathanamth-itta and one in Alappuzha district. “The children were being employed in shops on the presumption that the customers buy more items from a child. The children are vulnerable to sexual exploitation. Further, a study had found that such children come into conflict with law,” said A.O Abeen, state-nodal officer of the project.
Recently, a new wing child rescue force was set up under the district child protection unit in the four districts to check child trafficking, labour, beggary and abuse cases....