Current Affairs

Child Trafficking racket crops up at Goa Medical College

Goa’s top state-run medical facility the Goa Medical College could have emerged as the end destination of a child trafficking racket, an official said on Friday.

Chairperson of the Goa State Commission for Protection of Child Rights Sameera Kazi also said a police investigation had been ordered by the commission after a raid led to the discovery of child workers at the Goa Medical College (GMC) canteen.

“Prima facie, it appears that the children were trafficked to work in the canteen from neighboring states,” Kazi said.

During a surprise raid on the medical facility, the commission rescued an 11-year-old boy, while three other boys were whisked away. Reuters

She said that during a surprise raid conducted by the commission on Thursday, they had rescued an 11-year-old boy, while three other boys who were seen working in the hospital’s canteen for male doctors were whisked away by unknown people.

“It was shocking how they were taken away just as we stepped into the canteen. As if they were alerted about the raid. We have now asked police inspector Jivba Dalvi from Agacaim police station to probe the child trafficking angle,” Kazi said, adding the canteen contractor had been summoned for questioning.

Kazi said government agencies like police and labour departments, which are entrusted with the responsibility of keeping tabs on child labour in Goa, were turning a blind eye to the menace.

“Despite our repeated directions they simply do not file compliance reports in cases. But this time the Commission will crack the whip on them,” Kazi said.

This is not the first time the GMC canteens have been accused of hiring child labour. In April 2010, six children were rescued from another canteen on the premises by the Goa Crime Branch.

GMC authorities said they were informed about the raid by the Children’s Commission’s officials and would only give a written explanation to the authority.

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