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Why Does Child Trafficking Happen In India?

"Every child is a different kind of flowers, and all together make this world a beautiful garden"

Child trafficking, including the act of sexual exploitation has unfortunately become a rapidly expanding and highly profitable criminal enterprise, not only globally but particularly, in India. I'm very sorry to say but are country India is hub of this crime. Child trafficking is a form of modern slavery. Children are trafficked for purposes such as forced labour, slavery, sexual exploitation, armed groups, criminal activity, drug trades ,and even medical research but 80% of child trafficking done for purpose of sexual exploitation.

What is child trafficking?

Child trafficking is a form of human trafficking and is define by the United Nation as the transportation, transfer, harbouring and receipt of persons below the age of 18 years, within or across borders, legally or illegally.

As, per Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code, any individual who engages in the act of importing, exporting, relocating, purchasing, selling or discarding another person as if they were a slave; or forcibly accepts, receives or detains an individual against their will as a slave will be subject to imprisonment, for a duration of seven years. Additionally they may also be required to pay a fine.

The Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act 1956, this is a primary law deals with issues of human trafficking in India.

Child trafficking in India:

According to the international labour organization it is the fastest growing and second largest criminal industry in the world after drug trafficking and in India child trafficking is consider the third biggest crime in India after drug and arms dealing. In 2021 a staggering number of, over 77 thousand children, in India were reported as missing. It is concerning to note that this figure reflects an increase compared to the year. It is highly probable that many of these cases are directly linked to the issues of trafficking and child labour.

As per the studies in every one hour 15 children get missing in India and 8 are never found. According to the report by NHRC of India 40000 children are abduction each year but this is a Government record. In reality the number is much more higher.

Sexual Exploitation:

Main reason for child trafficking is sexual exploitation because 80% of child trafficking done for purpose of sexual exploitation and are country India is hub of this crime. Inside of child trafficking children are sold for child prostitution and child pornography.

How do children get Trapped in child trafficking?

  1. Deception: Traffickers often deceive children and their families with false promises of a better life, education, or job opportunities. They may use fraudulent job offers, educational scholarships, or the prospect of a better future to lure children into their control.
  2. Abduction: Some children are forcibly abducted and taken away from their homes and families. This can happen in cases where traffickers see an opportunity to take a child without the child or family's consent.
  3. Family Trafficking: Sadly, in some cases, family members themselves may be involved in trafficking their own children or relatives due to financial desperation or coercion.
  4. Economic Vulnerability: Poverty and economic hardship can make children vulnerable to trafficking. When families struggle to meet basic needs, traffickers may offer financial incentives to exploit the child's labor or sexual services.
  5. Social and Political Instability: Conflict zones and areas with weak law enforcement can provide an environment conducive to child trafficking. Displacement and breakdown of social structures can increase the vulnerability of children.
  6. Online Grooming: In the digital age, traffickers also use the internet to groom and manipulate children. They may establish online relationships with children and subsequently exploit them.

Factors that Contribute to Child Trafficking:

  1. Poverty: Financial difficulties can make a family vulnerable to trafficking schemes. Traffickers may promise parents a better life for their children or offer financial incentives.
  2. Sexual Exploitation: The demand for commercial sexual exploitation of children contributes to trafficking for sexual purposes, including sex, pornography, and prostitution.
  3. Lack of Education: Lack of education, legal awareness, and knowledge about the dangers of trafficking make children and families more susceptible. Because not everyone has education in India, and the main reason is the education policies are weak in India.
  4. Weak Legal Frameworks: Law and order in India lack strict regulations against child trafficking.
  5. Corruption: Corruption within law enforcement and immigration agencies can facilitate trafficking by allowing traffickers to bribe officials or avoid detection.

Indian Constitution:

As, per Indian constitution , child trafficking violates basic fundamental right such as right to freedom(Article-19), right to life(Article-21), right to education(Article 22-A) and right against exploitation(Article-23).

Prohibition of 'Traffic in Human Beings' and Forced Labour. The first part of Article 23(1) of the Constitution prohibits traffic in human beings and beggar and other similar forms of forced labour. The second part of this Article declares that any contravention of this provision shall be an Offence punishable in accordance with law. Prohibition of employment of children in factories etc.

The Criminal Law (amendment) Act of 2013 replaced Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code with Sections 370 and 370A, which set forth comprehensive measures to combat the menace of human trafficking, including the trafficking of children for any form of exploitation, including physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.

Landmark judgments on child trafficking:
In an important judgment handed down by the High Court of Madhya Pradesh in State of M.P. v. Dr. P.K Jain, it was held that doctors in Nursing Homes who, contrary to all norms of professional ethics, sell a newly born child without ascertaining satisfactorily the purpose for which the child is being purchased and without necessary precautions to make sure that the child may not fall in undesirable hands must, prima facie, be imputed with the knowledge that the child, at some stage, is likely to be used for any unlawful or immoral purpose within the meaning of Section 372 of IPC.

In the instant case, the offence under Section 372 was clearly made out against Dr. P.K. Jain as also the nurse and cashier in the hospital who were caught red-handed while selling a newly born child of an unwedded mother in the hospital.

Child trafficking is very serious issue because child trafficking is third biggest crime in India after drugs and arms dealing. The society and government must be have focus on Prevention, Prosecution and Protection. The government should adopt proper policy to prevent severe kind of child trafficking. I believe it is not only responsibility of the government to stop child trafficking. Government tying his best but we are youth of this country. We should also stand up for it. We should also try to stop such kind of thing.

  • Book "India penal code 1872" By S.N Mishra
  • Book "Constitution law of India" By J.N Pandey

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