India instructed all states to inspect childcare homes run by Missionaries of Charity

Vastavam web: India has instructed all its state governments to conduct an immediate inspection of all childcare homes run by the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic order founded by the late Mother Teresa, amid concerns over baby trafficking. Earlier this month authorities shut down a home run by the order in Jharkhand that provides shelter for pregnant, unmarried women after a nun and a worker there were arrested for baby trafficking.

Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said in a statement on Monday she had also instructed states to ensure that all childcare institutions be registered and linked to the federal adoption authority within the next one month. Missionaries of Charity spokes woman Sunita Kumar could not provide an immediate comment to Reuters.

There has been a number of reports of babies and children being trafficked through charity-run homes and hospitals in India, which campaigners say is driven by a long waiting list for adoption. The Missionaries of Charity stopped organising adoptions in India in 2015 saying they disagreed with government rules that made it easier for single, divorced, and separated people to adopt children.However, about 4,000 institutions are yet to be linked, the ministry said.

The chairwoman of Jharkhand State Commission for Protection of Child Rights, Arti Kujur, said the state had formed teams to inspect all its shelter homes and hoped to receive their reports in early August.