Children are vanishing from India's chaotic and busy railway stations every day. They are kidnapped, snatched, trafficked and sold into slavery. Forced into child labour or sex work most of these children are never seen again. Railway Children is transforming stations into child friendly spaces, where our workers race to reach children before an abuser does. We have 6 such stations so far but we need your help to reach 1000 more children by transforming another station in the south of India.
Latest police statistics show that kidnapping is a growing crime in India. Abductions of children have risen from 15,284 in 2011 to 41,893 in 2015. The country's noisy, crowded railway stations are an ideal hunting ground for traffickers who prey on the children forced to survive there. If we can get to them first, we can keep them safe in our open shelters where they can eat, sleep and be cared for properly while we trace their families or find an alternative safe place for them long-term.
In the last 5 years we have protected 43,000 vulnerable children through our station work in India. We have set up 6 Child Friendly Stations already, but we need your support to make a new station called Salem in Tamil Nadu child-friendly where trafficking is rife. In the next 12 months our outreach workers will find and take to safety over 1000 children at Salem, with at least 80% of them moving into our Shelter and then being rehomed back to families or other long-term caring environments
We are not just a quick fix rescue operation, we change things long-term. By training those working in & around Salem station including police, vendors, child protection workers and older street children we create a safe, protective environment for vulnerable children. Our child help desk, posters and announcements make the 360,000 passengers aware that they too can help. With all this in place, we make sure we reach the children before the traffickers can.
Railway Children's website
Recent REUTERS article on Railway Children India