As the Field Investigator, Researcher, and Executive Director of Against Child Trafficking (ACT EUROPE), Arun is an expert on child rights.
"Why do we do it? The reason I took up other adoptees' cases is that I don’t wish anyone to have to give up their profession. To travel to India forty times. To fight in the courts for seven years. And to lose everything. As I did. I want to share my experience with other adoptees, help them navigate the Indian bureaucracy, and together challenge the laws that keep our identities secret. A sense of justice. I love the work I took up against trafficking and for adoptee rights. I believe that the authorities must acknowledge the wrongs committed and assist us, adoptees, with re-establishing our identities. The truth must be acknowledged."
Arun Dohle, Keynote Speaker
In the 1970s, Dohle was adopted by a German couple from an Indian orphanage. Like many adoptees, he started to search for his roots in his late teens. Upon his return in 2010, 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. That's how he learned that adoption is not about what is “good” for children, but rather protects the interests of adoption agencies, adoptive parents, and other vested interests. 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. That's how he learned that adoption is not about what is “good” for children, but rather protects the interests of adoption agencies, adoptive parents, and other vested interests.
During his yearlong struggle to obtain his right to know the identity of his mother, Arun teamed up with Indian child rights activists. This was the beginning of his advocacy for children’s rights work. Following a significant trafficking scandal that came out in 2005, Arun took up the cases of several Indian families whose children were kidnapped, sold to orphanages, and adopted abroad. The media reporting about his case led many Indian adoptees to contact him. He advised them on their searches and eventually organized searches in India with the help of his Indian network of social workers and lawyers. Arun gave up his job as a financial consultant to dedicate his life to child rights and to correct the injustice of inter-country adoption - one case at a time.
Mr. Dohle has been included in Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists. He has been interviewed by numerous journalists and in the media worldwide and was also featured on TEDx in India at the National Institute of Technology Silchar. To donate directly to ACT India, contact Arun at firstname.lastname@example.org