The Mukti (‘liberation’ in Hindi) Caravan is a nationwide campaign on wheels against the organised crime of child trafficking, which has been launched by 100 Million campaign co-founder Kailash Satyarthi in India this week. The caravan will travel through some of India’s child trafficking hotspots, raising awareness among parents on the perils of sending their children away.

Families mired in poverty often feel forced to send their children to work and survive, and are enticed through so-called placement agencies on the promise their children will be cared for and well paid. In reality, the children are taken to Delhi, Punjab, Haryana, Mumbai and Kolkata, where they end up trapped in forced labour or domestic servitude, or working as slaves in the sex industry. Globally, 1.2 million children are estimated to be victims of child trafficking, but the likely real figure is expected to be higher; the hidden nature of trafficking makes reporting extremely challenging.

Campaigners from the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation and the 100 Million campaign in India will travel with the Mukti Caravan, enacting street plays, distributing pamphlets, and running awareness sessions for families in communities which are known to be targets for traffickers across the country. The campaign aims to end trafficking by ensuring that communities are aware of the preventive procedures in place to combat it, and appeals to citizens to file complaints against child trafficking and sexual abuse with the police, as well as with the Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.

The campaign will continue till January 2019 and will cover about 5,000 villages in 300 districts across the country.