In the light of an alarming rise in cases of trafficking and forced labour in the country due to further impoverishment of poor families, Satyarthi has appealed for urgent passage of the bill in the upcoming Monsoon Session without further delay. The passage of the bill through both Houses of Parliament will fulfill the demand of 12 lakh Indians who marched across 22 states and 12,000 km demanding a strong law against trafficking, said Satyarthi. ''The current pandemic has led to an aggravation of vulnerabilities of the marginalised children in India. They are now much more prone to various kinds of exploitation, especially trafficking and child labour,'' The Kailash Satyarthi Foundation said in a statement. Bachpan Bachao Andolan, a sister organisation of the KSCF, has rescued more than 9,000 trafficked children from trains, buses and factories along with law enforcement agencies since the beginning of the pandemic from across the entire country. On the importance of the bill, Satyarthi said, ''A strong anti-trafficking law is the moral and constitutional responsibility of our elected leaders, and a necessary step toward nation-building and economic progress. As long as children are bought and sold at lesser cost than cattle, no country can call itself civilised.'' ''COVID-19 has caused a rise in trafficking, especially of women and children. We cannot take this lightly. A law for prevention, timely investigation, punishment for traffickers, and the protection and rehabilitation of survivors is a matter of urgency. I call on all parliamentarians to pass a strong and comprehensive anti-trafficking law in the upcoming session of Parliament. Our children, their freedom and dignity cannot wait,'' he said.