PROTOCOL for Pre-rescue, RESCUE AND POST-RESCUE Operations of CHILD Victim of Trafficking for Commercial Sexual Exploitation




  1. Develop an Anti-Trafficking Policy specifying victim’s friendly provisions and structures.
  2. Create an Anti-Trafficking Cell at the State and District level to co-ordinate with other relevant Departments and NGOs on the issues pertaining to trafficking, especially on the rescue and rehabilitation of child victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
  3. Create a Database on traffickers, brothel owners, informants, decoy customers, number of cases registered, status of each case, source and destination areas in the State/District and any other relevant information. The information in the Database should be kept confidential and should be parted only to genuine information seekers.
  4. Form Community Vigilant Groups (CVGs) at the Community Level. The CVGs can help in rescue and rehabilitation of victims at the community level.
  5. Assign sufficient number of police personnel especially women Police personnel for the rescue operations.
  6.  Prominently display signboards in hotels, tourist places, restaurants, beaches, airports, bus stands, railway stations and other susceptible places, warning people against trafficking and use of children for commercial sexual exploitation. In case, any child is seen under suspicious circumstances in these places, the informant should inform the Police/child line/ NGO immediately.
  7. Repatriate the victim from the Destination State to the Home State. The State would be responsible for transportation and the State Government would meet all expenses towards travel for the victim and escort, food and incidental. The State Government should provide a separate budget for repatriation of the victims.
  8. Give adequate publicity, through both print and electronic media, on child-lines and women help-lines over a sustained period of time.
  9. Declare names of fit people and fit institutions, where victims of trafficking can be kept in safe custody. The list should be circulated to all Police Head Quarters, Police Stations at State and District Levels, Courts and NGOs.
  10. Declare fit institutions where mentally challenged or ill child victims and women can be kept in safe custody and proper medical treatment can be provided.
  11. Issue directives that all Court proceedings related to child victims of trafficking are carried out in-camera.
  12. Assign trained Child Welfare Officers in every Police Station.
  13. Every Police Station should have separate clean and hygienic toilet (s) for women.








i.          For Rescue of Trafficked Child Vicitms

·         Cultivate networks of informants who will provide specific information about trafficked under-aged child victims (below 18 years) or woman willing to be rescued from brothels. Specific information may be in the form of letters, emails, photographs, personality traits, identification marks and scars, addresses, physical presence of relatives and people known to child victim, computer graphics generated by the description and mannerisms (e.g. accent, distinctive body language like frequent rubbing of fingers, blinking of eyes or any other). It is desirable, that a small remuneration is paid to the informant, which sustains their motivation.

·         Identify the child victim by the use of decoy customers and authenticate the available information. The decoy customer should try to motivate the child to talk on a one-to-one basis and to facilitate further rescue operations.

·         Involve an NGOs and Social Workers in Rescue operations carried out by the Police or the Community.

·         Prepare a strategic plan for rescue operation with minimum loss of time. The plan should include the following: -


1.      Compilation of all available valid information. For example, physical layout of the brothels and hideouts, specific characteristics of the location, etc. Seek help of key informants people such as petty-shop owners, sweepers, part-time maids, milkmen or any other persons who may provide their service to the brothels/hide-outs, local contractors and builders who would know the layout of the brothels/hide-outs.

2.      Rescue team, preferably trained, should consists of the designated Special Police Officer as defined under Section 13 of Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956, Assistant Commissioner of Police and/or District Commissioner of Police, police personnel including women, NGO representative and social worker. The number of rescue team members should be constituted depending on the size (number of brothels/victims) of the rescue operation.

3.      Maintain confidentiality and secrecy of the rescue operation, all members of the rescue operation should gather at a commonplace or location at least 2 hours before the actual rescue operation.

4.      To prevent leakage of information, prior to the actual rescue operation, mobile phones and any other mode(s) of communication belonging to the rescue operation team members should be taken in custody by the rescue team leader.

5.      The strategy that would be adopted for the rescue operations and its various steps should be explained at this time. To each team member, explain his/her role in the rescue operation and clear any doubts that she/he may have.

6.      Preparing key players: Formation of teams would depend upon the situation and targeted number of brothels to be covered and expected number of minors to be recovered.

7.      Under no circumstances should the decoy customer(s) be exposed before, during and after the rescue operations.

8.      Under no circumstances should the rescue operation be revealed to any person (s) other than those directly involved”. If by any chance, the media does happen to get word of it, they should not be allowed to cover the rescue operation.

9.      Check /verify vacancies available in Government and other certified Homes, so that the rescued victims can be taken to the appropriate Homes for safe custody. This should be done in total confidentiality, so that any information on the rescue operation is not leaked.

10.  Before conducting rescue operations, all police formalities should be completed.

11.  During the rescue operations, the rescue team members should not physically touch the girls, women, or their belongings. Only female members of the rescue team should deal with the victims.

12.  During the rescue operations, no rescue team members should use abusive language towards the girls and women.    

ii.         Rescue Operation at a Community Level


·         The community should be sensitized about trafficking, the harm resulting out of this exploitative situation and what to do in case they have knowledge of such an incident. Community members should be motivated to keep a watch in the community for irregular movement of child victims to and from the area, their possible traffickers and hideouts.

·         The Community members should immediately provide information on suspicious people or to the nearest NGO working on rescue of trafficked victims. In absence of an NGO, the nearest police station may be informed.

·         Involve community group in rehabilitation of the victim, if he/she is from the same community.





  1. Planned rescue operations should be carried out on brothel communities.
  2. Place the rescue team members in strategic location as pre-planned for the rescue operation, before entering the brothel/community,
  3. Immediately go to the place/area where the child is being kept/confined.
  4. Remove the Child from the brothel/community as quickly as possible. He/She should collect all his/her belongings. In case, she has a child or children of her own, make sure that she is not separated from them.
  5. Treat the child victim with sympathy and not as a criminal.
  6. Remove any mentally-challenged or ill child victim or woman in the brothel, irrespective of their age.
  7. Be aware of your body language and do not make any unnecessary contact, unwelcome gesture, use physical force, cause physical harm, use vulgar or inappropriate language to any inmates of the brothel.
  8. Seize/collect all records showing expenses/income/payment/financial transactions and any other important document from the brothel owners, as they would form important piece of material evidence in the Court.
  9. Identification of the victims should be kept confidential, her name, address, photograph or any other information should not be published in any newspaper, magazine, news-sheet or visual media. This is mandatory as per Section 21 of the Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
  10. Identity and location of decoy customer should be kept confidential.
  11. The rescue team members should be accountable to the rescue team leader and any violation of the rights of the victim should be dealt in appropriate manner.





  1. Separate the victims by sight and sound from the accused.  While taking the child victim to the Police Station, the child and brothel owners/traffickers should be taken in a separate vehicle. If this is not possible, they should be kept separate from each other. This is to prevent the accused from threatening or intimidating the child.
  2. Do not keep the child in the lock-up under any circumstances. The victim should be immediately taken to a certified place of safety after the raid. The victim is not an accused person and should not receive the same treatment as the accused. Keep her separately from the brothel owners/traffickers.
  3. Document the rescue operation in the diary, in presence of two independent reliable witnesses and get it signed by them for authentication.
  4. The First Information Report (FIR) should be immediately registered by the victims or NGO in the Police Station and it should contains details of location of crime, description of offence, victim and accused, chronology of crime right from the time the child was trafficked. The FIR should be as detailed as possible. The child should receive a copy of the FIR and it should be kept in safe custody of the NGO/Protective/children Home, where the child is kept.
  5. Invoke all relevant Sections of Indian Penal Code, 1860 and Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 and Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 against the trafficker and brothel owners.
  6. Hand over the Child to a representative from the Protective/Children Home run by either the Government or NGO. The child should be counseled about her stay in protective custody and that she has been kept there for her safety and well being.
  7. It is important to ensure the following: -


·          Only Plain-clothes police accompany the child to the Protective/Children Home.

·          The functionaries of the Protective/Children Home should ensure that the child does not come in contact with its traffickers, pimps, brothel owners or any such persons, who may have bad influence on him/her.

·          The medical examination, including age verification test is carried out properly and scientifically. The age verification test is mandatory as per Section 15 b (5A) of Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 and Section 49 of Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.

·          The child victim is produced before the Child Welfare Committee within 24 hrs of taking him/her into custody. In case, the Child Welfare Committee is not available, then he/she should be produced before concerned Magistrate for relief.

·          The child has immediate access to standardized counseling, health care and legal aid. On behalf of the victim, the Personnel from the NGO, including Social Worker or Protective/Children Home should sign the vakalatnama (or the consent for a lawyer’s representation).

·          A social worker accompanies the child whenever he/she leaves the place of safety.

·          A counselor is present whenever a child is giving testimony in the Court.

·          The concerned Magistrate or the members of the competent authority as the case may be, visits the rescue home once in every fifteen days to conduct legal proceedings.

·          The child is prepared by explaining to him/her about court proceedings, so that he/she is aware of the procedures and is mentally well prepared. After every hearing of the case, the child should be informed about the court order, if any, so that he/she is kept fully updated on his/her case.

·          It is recommended that trafficking cases be fast tracked under Speedy Trial to reduce the trauma and suffering of the child.




D. STRATEGY FOR REHABILITATION (for functionaries in the Protective/Children Home)


  1. Ensure that the child is informally welcomed and is introduced to other residents and shown around. She should be shown to her room and her locker where she can keep her personnel belongings. It is advisable that for the first few days, she should be given space for privacy and if possible kept separately from the others or with those who have been rescued like her.
  2.  Provide a welcome kit that includes a change of clothes, towel, undergarments, chappals/slippers and toiletries (soap, oil, hair brush/comb, tooth brush, paste, powder, rubber band, shampoo, sanitary napkins etc.), to the child on arrival.
  3. Explain to him/her the rules and regulation of the Protective/Children Homes and their objectives, once he/she settles down,. This will make him/her feel comfortable and secure in his/her new environment. Also, explain to the child his/her responsibilities and duties during his/her stay in the Home.
  4. A registered medical doctor should examine the child for any ailments, allergies, skin rashes and psychological disorders or problems. Routine blood, urine, lung X-rays and stool tests should be carried out.  In case, the child is suffering from any aliment, she should be given appropriate medication as prescribed by the doctor and there should be continuous follow-up on her condition.
  5. Talk to the child and find out whether he/she is interested in continuing with her education and accordingly, admit him/her to a regular school or make arrangements for non-formal education or tutoring so that she can catch up with his/her studies. In any case, the child should be given some basic education which will help his/her to be independent when he/she leaves the Home.
  6. Provide the child with vocational training, including marketing strategies that are marketable, sustainable and practical. (Please check that providing a child with vocational training and marketing strategies is not contravening any child rights or child labor laws).
  7. Prepare the Child for his/her repatriation/integration with his/her family. No rescued child should be sent back to his/her family without ensuring social acceptance, family support, to prevent re-trafficking and further exploitation.