THESE are very disturbing statistics that the annual report of the Department of Narcotics Control reveals. According to 'Narcotics Report -2013', children below the age of 16 are being used as carriers of drugs and narcotics. This practice had started in the early nineties, but has been growing at an alarmingly galloping rate – from six percent in 2002 when the survey started to 25 percent in 2013.
The data is astounding, and one hopes that the relevant authorities would take note of the implication of the matter. It is not that they are used merely as a mode of delivery, these children at a very impressionable period of their life get embroiled in illegal acts apart from the fact that a good number of them become addicted to drugs and narcotics that they help to carry.
Our concerns also stem from the possibility of these children being used as purveyors of small arms and explosives and other dangerous material on behalf of terrorist and anti – state elements. Use of children in war is not a new thing, and use of children in clandestine and anti-state activities like mentioned above adds a new dimension to the issue.
Admittedly, use of children as courier of illegal things is a clever method to avoid detection since they do not readily arouse suspicion. But it is a new challenge that the law enforcing agencies must address. Given the repercussions of such a practice which is exponentially on the rise new strategies to combat the menace should be devised quickly, first of which would be to identify and arrest the people behind the trade.