Human trafficking: 21st century epidemic

Cause for discussion

human trafficking

Recently a one-day conference was organized in Delhi on the issue of prevention and rehabilitation of women and children trafficking. Members of the United Nations (UN), Ministry of Women and Child Development, members of the judicial sector and members of NGOs also participated in the conference. In this conference, with the consideration of various issues related to human trafficking and various aspects, a need was felt to create a common website where every question related to human trafficking can be answered in one place.


Human trafficking is the third largest organized crime worldwide after the drug and arms business. According to the definition of a united nation, intimidation, coercion or defective action, taking or being held hostage, falls under the category of human trafficking. More than 80 percent of this worldwide is committed for sexual exploitation, and the rest for bonded labor.

Women, men and children have been sold and sold all over the world for bonded labor, forced marriage, organ trade or sexual slavery. Significantly, the current law against human trafficking in India is a provision under the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956 (Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956) to take action only on trafficking for sexual exploitation.

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Current status of human trafficking

human trafficking

According to the United Nations Bureau of Drugs and Crime, 51% of trafficking victims are women, 28% children and 21% men. 72% of the women exploited in the sex industry are women. Identified human trafficking comprises 63% of males and 37% of females. 43% of victims are victims of this crime domestically within the borders of a country. The International Labour Organisation estimates that the world forced labor and human trafficking industry is worth US $ 150 billion.

India is considered a stronghold of human trafficking in Asia. According to the statistics of the Government of India, one child goes missing every 8 minutes in our country. About 35,000 children were reported missing in 2011, of which more than 11,000 were from West Bengal alone. Apart from this, it is believed that only 30 percent of the total cases came to light while the actual number is much more.

South Indian states are also active sources of human trafficking. Each of the four South Indian states (Kerala, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh) has around 300 such cases reported every year whereas West Bengal and Bihar have an average of 100 such cases each year.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data, there have been more than 8,000 humanTrafficking cases in India in 2016, in which a total of 23,000 victims including 182 foreigners have been released. According to NCRB data, 22,932 people were Indian nationals, 38 Sri Lankans and equally Nepalese. Of those released, 33 are Bangladeshi and 73 are citizens of other countries including Thailand and Uzbekistan.

According to a United Nations report, trafficking victims have been detected in many parts of Europe and in many South Asian countries including India. This report states that every third trafficking victim is a child and this makes it clear that human trafficking has taken a terrible form. Human trafficking is a matter of concern along with the sexual exploitation of the victims. The victims of trafficking comprise 30 percent of the children, with more girls than boys.These victims have been trafficked from most South Asian countries including Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and Pakistan. Several trafficked victims have been traced to Afghanistan in the Nordic countries, the Netherlands and the UK.

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The reasons of human trafficking:-

1.Poverty, social inequality, regional gender preference, economic imbalance and corruption are the major causes of human trafficking. Especially those young girls and young women mostly from poor and rural areas are brought from their homes and sold for sexual exploitation and bonded labor in remote states.

2.The agents bring their parents with the greed for education, better life and money.

3.Instead of sending them to school, agents sell them at brick kilns, carpenters, domestic servants or for begging while girls are sold for sexual exploitation.

4.Even these girls are forced to marry in areas where the sex ratio of girls is much lower than boys. Children from tribal areas are at highest risk of human trafficking.

5.Bonded labor is illegal in India but prevalent in society.

6.According to the International Labor Organization, more than 11.7 million people are working as bonded laborers in the Asia-Pacific region.

7.Money-strapped people often sell their children in exchange for money.

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Impact of human trafficking on society

human trafficking

1.We are in the era of information revolution today, where open talk on social evils has started, but some social evils are still less discussed in the society. One of them is Human Trafficking.

2.It is a curse not only for our country but for the world.

3.Though both men and girls are victims of inhumanity like human trafficking, but the impact of human trafficking on the daughters of the raw age is more frightening.

4.Being trapped in the clutches of human smugglers, they get entangled in such deep problems, which make it very difficult to come out.

5.Human trafficking is not a common crime. This is a crime against humanity. There is trade of human life in it.

6.Human smugglers target vulnerable sections who do not have adequate means to deal with such a situation.

7.From the above, it may seem that it affects only one life or affects a family, but the reality is that being a member of a social unit affects us all, directly or indirectly, as the trafficking of human trafficking.does.

8.Victims of human trafficking are the most likely to suffer from many things, such as mental disorders, depression and anxiety. Women who are victims of sexual trafficking are also more likely to suffer from ‘HIV’ and ‘Sexually Transmitted Disease’.

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Trafficking from Bangladesh to India

1.Over 5 lakh people between the ages of 12 and 30 have arrived in India illegally in the last decade from Bangladesh. Nearly 50 thousand Bangladeshi girls are reaching India every year due to human trafficking. The figure of girls arriving from Bangladesh through human trafficking to India is frightening.

2.The BSF has revealed that the human trafficking business from Bangladesh is ramping up in India. This entire network of human trafficking has now turned into an organized industry. This entire cycle of trafficking is no longer working only on the basis of demand and supply rules. This business is now being controlled by an organized network and panel from across the borders of both countries.

3.This network of trafficking is taking place in many cities in many states of India. The network has its own way of working to illegally bring girls from Bangladesh. Information is sent to agents of trafficking in Kolkata from different parts of the country, from where an entire gang (syndicate) works to infiltrate girls from across the border and then transport them to different parts of the country.

4.Generally young girls are employed in anonymous locations such as closets, cheap hotels, dance bars, body trade, massage parlors.

5.These girls often have to spend their lives in India under extremely inhuman and pathetic conditions. Some girls are employed in different employment agencies for domestic work, while some are forcibly married. Women are also used as semi-skilled and unschilled laborers in many parts of the country.

6.According to the BSF report, most of the girls come from the border villages_ such as Jessore, Satkheera, Gojadanga, Hakimpur. This route is also commonly used by brokers because it is quite easy to reach India from there.

7.According to the BSF, the border security personnel of Bangladesh are usually given 200 to 400 taka (Bangladeshi currency) for such girls to cross the border illegally.

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1.No crime can flourish on such a large scale without alliances or protection. This nexus of smugglers, police and leaders helps human trafficking flourish in a more organized and systematic manner.

2.In our country, the legal process of handling all types of cases is very slow. Smuggling gangs often have a large network, which includes some influential people. Due to those influential people, even those caught in smuggling are not punished.

3.Lack of harmony between one state and another state in the country is also a major challenge in prevention of human trafficking.

4.There are laws regarding human trafficking, but they are not implemented properly. Along with this, it is a huge market for illegal traders, so that its solution is not so easy.

5.Due to lack of proper co-ordination and clear policy from one country to another, smuggling is also spread, ie it is a big challenge not to stop the illegal activity happening across the border.

6.Lack of awareness and education in the society is also helpful in increasing human trafficking.

Government Efforts

Following efforts have been made by the government

1.Human trafficking in India is primarily a crime under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In addition, there are laws that regulate trafficking for specific reasons. For example, in relation to human trafficking for sexual harassment is the Immoral Trafficking (Prevention) Act, 1986. Similarly, there are laws like Bonded Wages Regulation Act 1986 and Child Labor Regulation Act, 1986 which prevent it, bonded labor. Each of these laws operate independently, has its own enforcement system and these laws provide for penalties for crimes related to human trafficking.

2.In 2011, India approved the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crimes, 2000 and the protocols related to the prevention, mitigation and punishment of human trafficking.

3.Following a Supreme Court order in 2015, the Minister of Women and Child Development set up a committee to examine the feasibility of enacting a comprehensive law on human trafficking.

4.On July 18, 2018, the Minister of Women and Child Development introduced the Human-Trafficking (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha. On July 23, 2018, the Lok Sabha passed the Human Trafficking (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 by voice vote. The bill provides for prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of trafficking victims.

5.The bill provides for the establishment of the National Anti-Trafficking Bureau to investigate trafficking cases and implement various provisions.

6.The National Trafficking Bureau can investigate such cases related to human-trafficking that have been assigned to the bureau for investigation by two or more states.

7.Under the bill, arrangements have been made to set up such courts in each district, which will try to complete the hearing in 1 year.

8.The Government of India is working on a plan to fight human trafficking through four ‘P’ models, Prosecution (Protection), Protection (Prevention) and Partnership (Participation).

9.The central government has prepared an institutional framework that states have implemented, including anti-trafficking units and rehabilitation schemes for the victims.

10.Article 23 (1) of the Constitution of India prohibits human-trafficking and makes it a punishable offense. Along with this, forcing a person to work without paying any remuneration is also prohibited.

11.Legal measures to combat human-trafficking have been strengthened under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013.

12.Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code broadly prohibits human-trafficking and at the same time it provides for stringent punishment in cases of trade of human organs, sexual exploitation, trafficking of children.

Road ahead

1.HumanTrafficking continues not only in India but globally, so it is very important to prevent it. For this, there is a need to enact strong laws at the national and international level so that humanTrafficking can be stopped.

2.The government should enact various policies and strict laws to prevent human trafficking.

3.Various authorities / regulators should be established at the district, state and national levels to rescue trafficking victims and investigate crimes.

4.Anti-trafficking police officers should be appointed at district and rural levels so that human traffickers gangs and agents can be arrested

5.Food, shelter and medical facilities should be provided for the victims, along with the Central or State Government should also build rehabilitation houses in each district so that the victims can be rehabilitated for a long time. Also, there is a need to provide good education, welfare schemes and better facilities to the people in their area.

6.Police and other concerned officers should work together and exchange information among themselves, which can be used to control human traffickers.

7.The society as well as the society will have to come forward to tackle it.

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