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Divided fates: Children of Global migration
By admin June 29, 2018

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The recent crisis in American prisons concerning the separation of children from parents is not the first time that children have been subjected to abuse in immigration cases. Compelled to leave their homeland, children are often subjected to violence, sexual exploitation, and trafficking. This is clearly exemplified in the image of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, a drowned Syrian toddler’s, who washed-up ashore in Turkey.

Bangladeshi refugee children entering India face similar complications. These problems are twofold: first, is illegal trafficking and second, that many children end up in jails for illegal immigration or in brothels. Young girls from Bangladesh are largely trafficked for sex work; the majority is aged below 18. It has been reported that in 2004, about 15,000 women and children were trafficked to India. This number has alarmingly increased over the years. Securitization of the border through passport and visa regulation was introduced in 1949 and 1952 respectively. Increased securitization has led to rise of violent incidents and illegalities such as smuggling and trafficking.

Children below 18 caught crossing the Bengal-Bangladesh borders, are to be sent to homes run by NGO’s instead of prisons. With this, the children get separated from their families and are often not released at the same time. When the parents are arrested, the children above 6 years are presented in front of the Child Welfare Committee and Juvenile Justice Board before sending them to children homes. This well-meaning step may disallow parents to see their children even after their conviction ends. Often the women go back to their homes without their children due to the tedious process of repatriation. As many as 592 Bangladeshi inmates have been jailed in West Bengal, including 112 children.

Recently, a task force has been created for safe repatriation of incarcerated women and children of Bangladesh from West Bengal, India. However, this still remains only a suggestion. This issue can only be solved when suggestions are seriously taken into account and the words on paper become actions.

 

FURTHER READING:

At India-Bangladesh Border, Living in Both, and Neither

Stateless misery on India-Bangladesh border

Poverty and politics trip up urban refugees in India


Thanks for sharing !


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