New Delhi: Child sex tourism is prevalent in many states of the country, the Lok Sabha was told Thursday.
The Women and Child Development Minister Renuka Chowdhury said in a written reply that studies conducted by the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) and National Commission for Women (NCW) shows that in the name of pilgrim, heritage and coastal tourism, sexual exploitation of children is quite widespread.
The minister said that government is planning to propose an amendment in the existing Immoral Traffic(Prevention) Act, 1956 providing stringent punishment for those involved in trafficking, including of children.
Studies said a lot of reports of human trafficking have come in from Maharastra, Goa, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal and Orissa.
The government is introducing a new scheme ‘Integrated Programme for Street Children’ for their rehabilitation. The target group for the scheme would be children without family ties and vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.
The Women and Child Development Ministry has also formulated another scheme ‘Integrated Child Protection Scheme’ which would be implemented in the 11th plan period for setting up of ‘transitional shelter homes’ in urban and semi-urban areas for the street children. A national website detailing the number of missing children will also be maintained under this scheme.
The ministry is enhancing the number of Juvenile Justice Boards in a year to ensure smooth functioning of cases where minors are involved.