Human trafficking has become a serious global issue of unforeseen proportions
of the twenty-first century. By its nature of exploitation, human trafficking
has also been increasingly referred to as "modern-day slavery", and this has
prompted rapid proliferation of international, regional, and national anti-
trafficking laws, and inspired states to devote enormous financial and
bureaucratic resources to its eradication.
Over the last decade, the volume of human trafficking has increased though the
exact numbers are not known; it is one of the most lucrative criminal trades,
next to arms and drug smuggling undertaken by highly organized criminals. The
reasons for increasing it, as a global phenomenon, are multiple and complex
which also affects rich and poor countries alike. The popular perception of
trafficking is the sexual exploitation of women and children; however, children
are trafficked for a variety of reasons.
There are various social, economic and political conditions, which create a
situation of vulnerability specially, for women and children, who were trapped
into trafficking This paper addresses the situation of human trafficking in
India. It argues that the focus on trafficking either as an issue of illegal
migration or prostitution still dominates the discourse of trafficking, which
prioritizes state security over human security and does not adequately address
the root causes of trafficking and the insecurity of trafficked individuals.
The root causes or vulnerability factors of trafficking such as structural
inequality, culturally sanctioned practices, poverty or economic insecurity,
organ trade, bonded labour, gender violence, which are further exacerbated by
corruption, have remained unrecognized in academic and policy areas. This paper
argues that emphasis needs to be given to such underlying root causes and modes
and also crimes related to human trafficking, that threatens human security of
the trafficked persons in India. Accordingly, it provides some preventive
measures to address and deal with the problem.
Human trafficking which is for the purposes of sexual exploitation is becoming
an increasingly prevalent issue around the world. Trafficking is a huge industry
which has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world.
The international and Indian legal definitions of bonded labour, child labour
and sex trafficking used throughout the report are highlighted in this section.
Human trafficking can include several different components which can include sex
trafficking, labour trafficking, and organ trafficking. Sex trafficking is human
trafficking into prostitution. Labour trafficking is when someone is trafficked
into work that is non-sexual.
Examples can include a man trafficked into farm work, or a woman trafficked into
a servant. Lastly, organ trafficking is when people are trafficked so their
organs can be sold to be used into transplants. People can be forced into this
trafficking by many means such as physical force being used upon them, or false
promises made by traffickers.
The main objectives of present research paper is:
- To examine the causes and modes of human trafficking in India
- To analyse the crimes related to human trafficking
- To suggest Preventive measures regarding human trafficking in India.
In this article the author has portrayed the condition of Indian Women who are
the most vulnerable target of human trafficking. The author of this article has
discussed the contemporary theories and literatures. The author has found that
human trafficking is not a single issue but rooted with multiple aspects.
This author of this article has addressed the issue of Human Trafficking. The
author in this article has argues that the significance should be given to the
underlying root causes and modes of Human Trafficking in India. The author has
addressed preventive measures in this article to deal with the problem.
Analysis And Discussion
There are several contributing factors for trade in human beings particularly in
women and children. The factors of trafficking in women and children can be
divided into two categories: push and pull factors.
The push factors include:
poor socio-economic conditions of a large number of families, poverty coupled
with frequent, almost annual natural disasters like floods leading to virtual
destitution of some people, lack of education, skill and income opportunities
for women (and for their family members) in rural areas, absence of awareness
about the activities of traffickers, pressure to collect money for dowries which
leads to sending daughters to distant places for work, dysfunctional family
life, domestic violence against women, low status of girl children, etc.
It appears from the case studies that extreme poverty and other causes of
deprivation not only push people to fall in the tripod the traffickers, they
also create for some an incentive for trafficking. Often the prostitutes, who
have no option to come out of the exploitative environment, gradually develop
intimate connections with the traffickers and follow in their footsteps.
The pull factors are: lucrative employment propositions in big cities, easy
money, promise of better pay and a comfortable life by the trafficking touts and
agents, demand of young girls for marriage in other regions, demand for low-paid
and underage sweat shop labour, growing demand of young kids for adoption, rise
in demand for women in the rapidly expanding sex industry, demand for young
girls in places of military concentration like Kashmir in India in recent times,
demand for young girls for sexual exploitation as a result of the misconception
that physical intimacy with young girls reduces men's chances of contact of
HIV/AIDS, or of the myth that sex with a virgin can cure HIV/AIDS and impotence.
The rampant practice of female feticide in the northern states of Haryana and
Punjab has also fuelled internal trafficking. Since there is a shortage of women
in these states having a low female to male ratio, they have become fertile
ground for the operation of traffickers. Traffickers procure girls from faraway
states like Assam and Orissa; trick their families into believing they are to be
married, only to later push them into prostitution.
There are many reasons for human trafficking. They are determined by political,
economic and cultural factors. Trafficking in persons is according to the
doctrine of supply and demand. Firstly, there are certain factors in the country
such as need of employment, poverty, social conditions, instances of armed or
war conflicts lack of political and economic stability, lack of proper access to
education and information etc.
Secondly, in developed and wealthy countries there is demand for inexpensive
products, cheap labour and low priced services. The organized crime groups have
found an opportunity for making huge profits by connecting the supply and demand
that by clubbing the first and the second instances. These reasons lead to
increased migration but a condition of restricted migration due to numerous
policies of the State. People use smuggling channels for human trafficking
exposing themselves to exploitation, deceit, violence and abuse.
The victims in the process of trafficking in persons are abused and exploited in
certain conditions which may result in short term and long-term minor and severe
psychological and physical attacks, diseases especially sexually transmitted
diseases or HIV viruses. This condition can even lead to the permanent
disability and death.
The direct consequences of human trafficking are aggression, depression,
disorientation, alienation and difficulties in concentration. Many studies have
shown that injuries and traumas acquired during the process of trafficking can
last for a long period even after the person has become free from exploitation
and this mainly occurs when the victim is not given with proper care and
counsel. Even the rehabilitation process for the victims cannot be guaranteed
for a certain result.
Although the victims are brought out from the physical problems, the trauma and
the psychological problems does not allow the victim to totally recover from the
consequences. Some of the victims find it difficult to adapt to the normal lives
that they previously carried out. The sad part about the victims of human
trafficking is that the rights of the victims are violated even after they come
out from the status of exploitation.
In many cases they face re-victimization. In many of the countries the
protection provided to the trafficked persons is directly conditioned by their
willingness to cooperate with the competent authorities. But this conditional
protection is contrary to the full access and protection of human rights and the
use of trafficked persons as an instrument in the criminal proceedings are not
Legal Frameworks To Counter Human Trafficking In India
Indian Penal Code 1860: Interestingly the Indian Penal Code which came into existence in 1860
addresses the problem of human trafficking in human beings. It is addressed
in Section 370 and 370 A of the Indian Penal Code. It prohibited trafficking
of women and girls and prescribed ruthless punishments for the criminals.
It lays down that anyone who buys or sells the person under the age of 18
years for the purpose of prostitution and for sexual exploitation and for
other immoral purposes shall be liable to imprisonment for up to 10 years
and also be liable to fine. It also recognizes cross border trafficking into
prostitution and whoever imports into India from any country outside India
any girl under the age of twenty-one years with the intent that she may be,
or knowing it to be likely that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit
intercourse with another person shall be punishable with imprisonment which
may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine.
Constitution of India, 1949 The Indian Constitution of India prohibits trafficking in persons and
guarantees many of the internationally acknowledged various human rights
norms such as the right to life and personal liberty, the right to equality,
right to freedom, the right to constitutional remedies. The right to be free
from exploitation is also assured as one of the fundamental rights of any
person living in India.
The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000 According to this Act there is no difference between a minor and a child.
All the persons under the age of eighteen years are considered children. A
child who is a child in need of care and protection.
The Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of
Atrocities) Act, 1989 Many victims of trafficking belong to marginalized groups. Traffickers
target only such area which is backward in social and literacy sense. This
gives an additional tool to safeguard women and young girls belonging to
scheduled Caste and scheduled Tribes and also to create a greater burden on
the trafficker or offender to prove his lack of connivance in the matter. If
the offender has the knowledge that victim belongs to these communities,
then this act can be effectively used to counter the offence of trafficking.
Section 3 of this act deals with atrocities committed against people
belonging to Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes. It covers some forms of
trafficking such as forced or bonded labours and sexual exploitation of
women. A minimum punishment of ix months is provided which may extend to
five years if the offence is covered under section 3.
The laws for human trafficking must be strengthened that it meets all the
requirements for preventing human trafficking. People who are in poverty line
across the country must be made aware about human trafficking and its
consequences in order to prevent them from becoming victims.
Many national and international seminars and conferences can be conducted across
the country so that the general people and the government can join hands to
prevent human trafficking. The vulnerable sections of the society must be
protected by the Government so that they don't fall as victims to human
The victims of the human trafficking are only the persons from below poverty
line so the offence of human trafficking can be greatly prevented if the
Government helps the poor sections of the society and provides them with
adequate education and employment. Human trafficking jeopardizes the dignity and
security of trafficked individuals, and severely violates their human rights.
Constitutions of India guarantee the equal rights of men and women, but they are
often merely rhetoric when it comes to the question of practical implementation.
In order to combat trafficking and thus to protect the human rights of the
vulnerable people, strong political will of the government is vital in
implementing their anti-trafficking mandates.
Thus, we can say any crime which can be used as business one day becomes a big
social evil as in the case of human trafficking. The problem is still in our
hands to be solved if the strong steps are taken deliberately and policies are
made and implemented strictly. If timely steps are not taken then in very short
time, it will remain late but too late.
What is the definition of human trafficking?
The United Nations defines human trafficking as the recruitment, transportation,
transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons by improper means (such as force,
abduction, fraud, or coercion) for an improper purpose including forced labor or
Trafficking for forced labour
Victims of this widespread form of trafficking come primarily from developing
countries. They are recruited and trafficked using deception and coercion and
find themselves held in conditions of slavery in a variety of jobs.
Victims can be engaged in agricultural, mining, fisheries or construction work,
along with domestic servitude and other labour-intensive jobs.
Trafficking for forced criminal activities
This form of trafficking allows criminal networks to reap the profits of a
variety of illicit activities without the risk. Victims are forced to carry out
a range of illegal activities, which in turn generate income.
These can include theft, drug cultivation, selling counterfeit goods, or forced
begging. Victims often have quotas and can face severe punishment if they do not
Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation
This prevalent form of trafficking affects every region in the world, either as
a source, transit or destination country. Women and children from developing
countries, and from vulnerable parts of society in developed countries, are
lured by promises of decent employment into leaving their homes and travelling
to what they consider will be a better life.
Victims are often provided with false travel documents and an organized network
is used to transport them to the destination country, where they find themselves
forced into sexual exploitation and held in inhumane conditions and constant
Trafficking for the removal of organs
In many countries, waiting lists for transplants are very long, and criminals
have seized this opportunity to exploit the desperation of patients and
potential donors. The health of victims, even their lives, is at risk as
operations may be carried out in clandestine conditions with no medical
An ageing population and increased incidence of diabetes in many developed
countries is likely to increase the requirement for organ transplants and make
this crime even more lucrative.
Closely connected to human trafficking is the issue of people smuggling, as many
migrants can fall victim to forced labour along their journey. Smugglers may
force migrants to work in inhumane conditions to pay for their illegal passage