From Intercountry Adoption to Expert on the Crisis of Child Trafficking


When Arun Dohle was adopted from India to Germany in the early 1970s, little did he know that his life would take a path that would eventually lead him to become a renowned child rights activist in the fight against child trafficking. Over the years since then, he has worked tirelessly to raise awareness about the scourge that is child trafficking and has become one of the most expert voices on this issue globally.

Dohle’s journey…

Dohle‘s journey to becoming an activist for child rights began when he searched for his Indian mother. Like many adoptees, he started to search for his roots in his late teens. The Indian orphanage did not want to provide access to his file. Arun addressed the Indian Courts, and it took 17 years to finally obtain access to the desired information. 

Arun is a victim and survivor of child trafficking and is forced to give up his career as a financial consultant. Through the Parents Assistance Project, he organizes searches for several Indian families whose children are kidnapped, sold to orphanages, and adopted abroad.

Against Child Trafficking - Arun Dohle assisting parents finding their children who were stolen for international adoption.

Against Child Trafficking – Arun Dohle assists parents in finding their children who were stolen for international adoption.

As an Indian-born adoptee, he also sees firsthand the struggles of other adult adoptees forced into the despair of not knowing their true identity and being devoid of their biological family, caused by forces beyond their control. He contributes his own resources and decades of time to helping these adult adoptees, often using his pocket money to trace back families.

Arun Dohle and Roelie Post, Founders of ACT

Arun Dohle and Roelie Post, Founders of ACT

But it wasn’t until he collaborated with Roelie Post, a civil servant of the European Commission since 1983 and author of For Export Only: The Untold Story of the Romanian Orphans, that Dohle‘s activism took on a more focused approach. As a transracial adoptee, Dohle faces challenges that were unique to his situation, including issues of human rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. These experiences motivated him to get more involved in the fight against child trafficking, and in 2007, he co-founds Against Child Trafficking with Roelie Post.

Fatima desperate to find her child, adopted to Australia

Fatima is desperate to find her child, who was adopted into Australia.

Human trafficking remains a serious problem affecting children worldwide.

This industry thrives by exploiting the vulnerability of individuals, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Every year, thousands of people are coerced into trafficking situations, and tragically, many of them do not survive.

Arun Dohle’s own experience as a trafficking survivor fuels his commitment to assist families who have experienced loss and Indian-born adoptees, ultimately making a positive impact in the world. Moreover, he is dedicated to safeguarding future children from being exploited and trafficked across borders.

At Against Child Trafficking, Dohle plays a vital role in developing strategies and campaigns to combat the global epidemic of child trafficking.

he organization works tirelessly to raise awareness about the risks and consequences of child trafficking, as well as providing expertise to survivors of this lifelong crime that affects women, children, communities, and nations.

Parents and family members waiting... Against Child Trafficking USA

Parents and family members are waiting… Against Child Trafficking USA (ACTUSA) helped fund these parents to be able to take a stand and speak up against the international adoption industry.

According to UNICEF, the number of children trafficked each year is estimated to be around 1.2 million, and this figure is believed to be increasing. Trafficking manifests in various forms, and among the most vulnerable and overlooked groups affected by this scourge are mothers and families living in poverty, lacking adequate protection against a multi-billion dollar industry.

Against Child Trafficking has encountered both successes and challenges throughout its existence. The organization has achieved numerous victories, such as the landmark decision by the Indian Supreme Court to acknowledge the rights of inter-country adopted children, thanks to the relentless efforts of Dohle and his colleagues. However, the ongoing battle to eradicate child trafficking remains complex and frequently demanding.

Arun Dohle interviewed on BBC

Arun Dohle interviewed on BBC

Dohle’s work has played a critical role in amplifying the voices of adoptees and placing them at the forefront of the battle against child trafficking.

Having personally experienced the challenges of racial and cultural displacement, he possesses a unique perspective on the issues confronted by adopted children and how these intersect with broader struggles against institutional inequalities and biases. This firsthand understanding enables him to bring a nuanced and empathetic approach to his advocacy, shedding light on the complex dynamics involved in the fight against child trafficking.

Through his work with Against Child Trafficking, Dohle has achieved many successes.

Arun Dohle, Child Rights Experts speaks at Against Child Trafficking USA Symposium

Arun Dohle, Child Rights Expert, speaks at Against Child Trafficking USA Symposium in Tacoma, Washington  June 18th, 2022

He has worked with other adoptee-led organizations from around the world to promote awareness and develop strategies to combat human trafficking. He has also been involved in many campaigns to raise awareness of the issue and put pressure on authorities to take action.

However, Dohle‘s journey has not been an easy one. He has had to deal with the psychological scars left by his experiences of being a child rights expert, as well as the stigma and discrimination faced by many trafficking victims. In addition, he has faced numerous challenges in running his organization, including a lack of funding and resistance from those who refuse to acknowledge the importance of the issue.

Arun leads the march of parents demanding to talk to their children who were stolen for international adoption.

Arun Dohle advocates for parents demanding to talk to their children who were stolen for international adoption.

Despite these challenges, Dohle‘s story is a testament to the power of one person’s determination and perseverance in making a difference in the world. Through his work with Against Child Trafficking, Dohle has helped countless parents of loss and adult-adoptees escape the horrors of trafficking and has raised awareness of the issue on a global scale. His story is a message of inspiration for all those fighting against injustice and inequality in the world today.

The potential impact of adoptees in fighting institutional inequalities in the system is significant.

When we advocate for Against Child Trafficking, we can become key agents to protect future generations from becoming targets of an insatiable in-demand market. We can share and challenge the deeply rooted narratives that are keeping so many vulnerable children trapped in cycles of exploitation and abuse.

In conclusion, Arun Dohle‘s journey from adoption to the human rights enshrined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is an inspiring example of how we can all make a difference in the world.

For this reason, it is vitally important to donate to Against Child Trafficking.

Arun Dohle’s work to combat child trafficking is essential to ending lifelong exploitation that afflicts so many children worldwide.