Children are permitted to work in India from 14, but mostly in family-related enterprises and never in dangerous circumstances. However, the coronavirus pandemic has struck the country's economy badly. Others have lost their jobs, prompting many families to require their children to bring in whatever they can.
India has reinforced its legislation on child labor in the past years. That progress has begun to crumble in the past six months - with Covid-19 taking an impact on the economy.
Kailash Satyarthi, 2014 Nobel Peace Prize winner whose organization Bachpan Bachao Andolan (Save the Childhood Movement), which seeks to protect susceptible children, stated: "Children have never faced such crisis."
"This is not simply a health crisis or an economic crisis. This is the crisis of justice, of humanity, of childhood, of the future of an entire generation," she added.
Companies and schools were shut as India went into a total lockdown in March. The lunch meal they could get at school has been robbed from thousands of children, and most citizens have lost their jobs.
By manipulating vulnerable families, smugglers have exploited the crisis, activists claimed.
POVERTY IN THE LOCKDOWNS
According to a research held in July by UNICEF and the Population Council Institute, more than the majority of all migrant households in the nation of Bihar lost all their revenue ever since India went into full lockdown in March.
Lower households were exhausted by the time the national government started relaxing lockdown restrictions in late May. During the lockdown, many migrant workers went back home, that the need for cheap labor in India's cities exploded as the nation reopened.
This distress, demand for jobs, and even reopening state borders made the perfect atmosphere for traffickers to prey on children, stated the Indian police.
Shiv Narayan, a police station officer in the Bhatta, has this to say, "Now post the lockdown, factories are reopening, and the migrant labor is returning (and) what we are seeing is that children are coming with them."
ACTIVISTS DEMAND ACTION
As per the authorities, up to 20 police raids and 12 recorded incidents of child trafficking and child labor have occurred in northern Jaipur alone since early June, once the lockdown was lifted.
In the last two weeks of August, 50 children have been saved in Jaipur, stated Police Inspector Rajendra Khandelwal, whose anti-human trafficking department carried out raids on Nishad 's factory. Among the 50 children were Mujeeb, Aman-not their real names, and the other kids were found on the Bihar public transport.
Activist groups cautioned that if more immediate measures were not taken to tackle the issue, it is recognized as allowing child trafficking. The current crisis could reverse generations of progress.
The state needs to get young children back into education after the lockdown to help prevent that, rights groups added.