Child trafficking is a significant problem in Tamil Nadu, where a UNICEF report recorded as many as 4.4 million children between the ages of 5-14 employed full-time. The busy rail junctions provide ideal hunting grounds for organised traffickers, who force children to work in hazardous conditions, poorly paid, and with no proper food or housing. We know that more children than ever are at risk as they head to the cities looking for work or to escape home situations that have become unbearable.
Our Open Shelters in Katpadi and Trichy, in the region of Tamil Nadu, are located close to the stations, cater for vulnerable children's educational, recreational, nutritional, and psychosocial needs. They provide a safe place for children to stay for up to three months and include basic provisions such as food, clean water, clothing, basic healthcare, and emotional support, as our social workers help children to address their problems, recover from trauma and understand why they left home.
We are not just a quick fix rescue operation, we change things long-term. Our child-focused method is proven to ensure that 97% of children are restored to their families or long-term care, and we will support 120 through this Open Shelter. We also work with the families to address the problems that drove the child to run away in the first place. We help families access government schemes, provide food parcels, as well as providing business support, family support and counselling.