Human trafficking, also known as trafficking in persons, is a crime that
involves compelling or coercing a person to provide labour or services, or to
engage in commercial sex acts. The coercion can be subtle or overt, physical or
psychological. Exploitation of a minor for commercial sex is human trafficking,
regardless of whether any form of force, fraud, or coercion was used. India and
Bangladesh that are the source, transit, and destination countries for
trafficking in persons.
Thousands of people mostly belonging to the underprivileged socio-economic
fabric of the society are enticed to Indian capitals and towns annually by
traffickers who promise decent jobs but sell them into modern-day slavery.
Victims of human trafficking can be anyone-regardless of race, colour, national
origin, disability, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity,
socioeconomic status, education level, or citizenship status.
But as is the case in many crimes of exploitation and abuse, human traffickers
often prey upon members of marginalized communities and other vulnerable
individuals, including children in the child welfare system or children who have
been involved in the juvenile justice system; runaway and homeless youth;
unaccompanied children. Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent,
Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons of the United Nations defines
Trafficking as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt
of persons, by means of threat or the use of force or other forms of coercion,
of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of
vulnerability or of giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the
consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of
Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the
prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or
services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of
Trafficking Of Women Across Indian Borders
Trafficking of women across Indian borders like Nepal, Bangladesh etc. is very
seriously concern. trafficking of women in india is also a serious concern but,
If trafficking have been done in india, there have some sort of chances that our
reputed and responsible agencies may search them and get them back to their
home. but it is not in the case of trafficking across borders, because across
borders it have been made impossible for our agencies to search them and get
National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data shows a total of 6,242 cases filed
under section 370 (human trafficking) between 2018 and 2020. Of the 1,714 cases
of human trafficking registered in 2020, the latest NCRB Crime in India report
says that there were 1,912 men and 2,797 women affected. Of the 48 cases of
international human trafficking, 24 people were from Bangladesh, the highest,
followed by 20 from Nepal.
Traffickers can be foreign nationals, citizens, family members, partners,
acquaintances, and strangers. They can act alone or as part of an organized
criminal enterprise. People often incorrectly assume that all traffickers are
males only however, there are several cases in which the government has
prosecuted cases against women traffickers. Traffickers can be pimps, gang
members, diplomats, business owners, labour brokers, and farm, factory, and
company owners. India is a source as well as destination country for trafficking
The source countries are Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar from where women and
girls are getting trafficked in the guise of proving better life, jobs and a
good living condition In India. A majority of them are minor girls/ women of
younger age, who are after their arrival in India are sold and forced into
commercial sex work.
These girls/ women often reach major cities like Mumbai Delhi, Hyderabad, etc,
from where they are taken out of country mainly in Middle East and South East
Asia. This is the reason why, the bordering States to these countries need to be
more vigilant and have adequate facilities to provide relief and rehabilitation
services to the victims of trafficking.
Reasons Behind The Trafficking Of Women
Trafficking means illegal trade. Human Trafficking means trading of humans which
includes both men and women and children also. It can be in within the country
or can be across borders. Trafficking's main objectives are exploitation in
labour factories, farms and private households, mainly is sexual exploitation
and forced marriage. It does not always target any one religion, caste or group
but, it sometimes their main targets are minor girls, lower castes or minority
or tribal group.
Commercial sex includes: - pornography, prostitution and sex trafficking of
women and children for the sake of money/ goods. It becomes the worst disease of
the society which is not other than epidemic for the society. It is worst form
of crimne in modern day civilization. Victims of trafficking are majority of
girls and women. Trafficking in persons is one of the worst forms of crime in
modern day civilization. Globally more than 20.9 million people are its
victim. Main reasons behind flexibility in trafficking of women:
- Poverty is one of the prime determinant of women trafficking.
- Gender inequalities and disparities is one of the cause of women
trafficking and exploitation.
- Early marriages and traditional dowry practices becomes the financial
burden for the parents which indirectly forces them to sell their daughters.
- Lack of education limits the women from getting better earning
opportunities, making them even more vulnerable to exploitation.
Nepal is an important source country for the Indian human trafficking business.
The NHRC report also predicted that around 1.5 million Nepalis are currently at
risk of being trafficked to India. These individuals are generally forced into
exploitative work, including child labour, bonded labour, and sexual slavery.
Trafficking between India and Bangladesh border areas is quite pronounced and
simple. Both nations share the fifth longest international border in the world.
there is a growing network of traffickers who are either women or are using
different women to trap their victims. As per a study conducted by Anti-human
trafficking NGO Justice and Care, in association with Border Security Force (BSF),
more than 5 Lacs Bangladeshi women and children aged between 12 and 30 have been
illegally sent to India in the last decade. However, underreporting in such
cases is a major hurdle.
At somehwere, trafficking fuels organized crime and it is violation of human
right. It leads to social breakdown. Profits from human trafficking. child
prostitution, women traffking leads to give profits to criminal activities. the
loss of family and community support , network renders the trafficking victim
more vulnerable to the traffickers demands and threats, contributes in several
ways to breakdown of social structure.
Relevant Laws & Provisions
There are certain laws and provisons in India and at International level which
makes it unlawful and heinouscrime. Because, It does not only impact to victims
who suffer this crime but, also to their family memebers who suffer this kind of
offence due to some unfavouable social elements of our society which exist in
our society and they impact our great society very harshly.
Here I am mentioning different laws that deal with the different types of
trafficking, and defines it as crime in India and International level. these
laws are as follows:
- Indian Penal Code, 1860:
In India, human trafficking is primarily dealt with under the Indian Penal
Code, 1860. In IPC, it is defined as offence under
various sections of the IPC, It is dealing under a serious of section:
- Sex trafficking - Section 354 (A)- Any man committing the
following acts: physical contact and advances involving unwelcome and
explicit sexual overtures; or a demand or request for sexual favours; or showing pornography against the
will of a woman.
- Forced marriage: Section 366 - Whoever kidnaps, abducts or
induces a woman to compel her marriage shall be punished with
imprisonment of up to ten years along with a fine.
- Section 366-A: Procuration of a minor girl shall be punishable
with imprisonment which may extend to ten years in addition to fine.
- Section 366-B: Importation of girl (under the age of twenty-one
years) from foreign country shall be punishable with imprisonment
which may extend to ten years in addition to fine.
- Section 370 (4): Where the offence involves trafficking of one
minor the punishment shall be imprisonment for not less than ten
years extending up to life imprisonment and shall also be liable to
- Section 370 (5): Where the offence involves trafficking if more
than one minor the punishment shall be imprisonment for not less
than ten years extending up to life imprisonment and shall also be
liable to fine.
- Section 370 (6): If a person is convicted for trafficking of
minor on more than one occasion, the punishment shall be life
imprisonment and shall also be liable to fine.
- Section 372: Whoever sells minors for the purpose of
prostitution or illicit intercourse with any person or for any
unlawful and immoral purpose, shall be punished with imprisonment
extending up to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
- Section 371: Section 371 - Habitual imports, exports,
trafficking, buying, selling etc in slaves, shall be punished with
imprisonment for life, or with imprisonment for a term not exceeding
ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
- Section 374: Unlawful compulsory labour against the will of the person shall be
punished with imprisonment extending up to one year, or with fine, or both.
- Aiding human trafficking:
- Section 368: Section 368 :- Whoever wrongfully conceals or keeps
in confinement, kidnapped or abducted person shall be punished in
the same manner as the kidnapper or abductor himself i.e. with
imprisonment which may extend up to ten years along with fine.
- Section 370-A (1): Whoever engages a trafficked minor for sexual
exploitation in any manner, shall be punished with imprisonment for
a term which shall not be less than five years, but may extend to
seven years, shall also be liable to fine.
- Section 370-A (2): Whoever engages a trafficked person for
sexual exploitation in any manner, shall be punished with
imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years,
but which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to
- Section 373: Whoever buys minors for the purpose of prostitution
shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to
ten years, shall also be liable to fine.
- The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA):
It is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for
commercial sexual exploitation.
- Section 3: The punishment for keeping a brothel shall be
imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more than
three years along with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.
- Section 4: The punishment for living on earnings of prostitution
shall be imprisonment for a term of not less than one year and not more
than three years, also with fine which may extend to two thousand
rupees. If the earnings are from prostitution of a minor the punishment
shall be, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term of not less
than seven years and not more than ten years.
- Section 5: Procuring, inducing or taking person for the sake of
prostitution with or without their consent shall be punishable with
imprisonment for a term of not less than three years and not more than
seven years and also with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees
and if it is committed against the will of any person, the punishment of
imprisonment for a term of seven years shall extend to imprisonment for
a term of fourteen years.
- Section 6: Detaining a person in premises where prostitution is
carried on shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which shall
not be less than seven years but which may be for life or for a term
which may extend to ten years and shall also be liable to fine. Apart
from the above, this Act also provides punishments for offences like
seducing or soliciting for purpose of prostitution, prostitution in or
in the vicinity of public places and seduction of a person in
- The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013: known as
the Nirbhaya Act has come into
force wherein Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code has been substituted with
370A (IPC) which provides for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of
human trafficking including trafficking of children for exploitation in any form
including physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery,
servitude or the forced removal of organs.[9 ]
- State Governments have also enacted specific legislations to deal with the
issue. (e.g. The Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012) :- This act is
applicable in state of Punjab only, this act was passed by the state legislature
of punjab and enacted on 2nd December 2013, which provides for the regulation of
the profession of travel agents with a view to check and curb their illegal and
fraudulent activities, and malpractices of the persons involved in the organized
human smuggling in the State of Punjab and for the matters connected therewith
or incidental thereto.
- The Constitution of India, 1949:
- Article 23: Trafficking in humans and forced labor is prohibited
and is punishable in accordance with law.
- Article 24: It states that any child under the age of fourteen
years shall not work in any hazardous employment like factories or
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) Act, 2012: POCSO Act,
2012 has come into effect from 14th November, 2012 is a special law to protect
children from sexual abuse and exploitation. It provides precise definitions for
different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative
sexual assault, sexual harassment.
- Other Legislations: There are some other specific
legislations enacted relating to trafficking in women and children
Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Bonded Labour System (Abolition)
Act, 1976, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986,
Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, apart from specific Sections in
the IPC, e.g. Sections 372 and 373 deal with selling and
buying of girls for the purpose of prostitution.
Preventive Measures By Government To Combat
- Anti-Trafficking Cell:
The Ministry of Home Affairs has established an AntiTrafficking Cell to deal
with matters relating to law enforcement response on Trafficking in human
beings, excluding legislative, welfare and promotional aspects, which are
subject matters of Department of Women & Child Development.
The Cell provides suitable guidelines to the States/UTs from time to time
for strengthening law enforcement response in tackling human trafficking. It
also acts as an interface with other Ministries like Ministry of Women &
Child Development, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Labour &
Employment, Ministry of Railways etc. to address the issues of human
trafficking. The Anti Trafficking cell is also responsible for signing
bilateral /multilateral MoUs with various countries to address the issue of
Human Trafficking and participation in national /international
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development:
The MWCD, has approved a scheme to provide financial assistance to states
and Union Territories to set up protection and rehabilitation homes for
victims of trafficking in states having international borders.
- Government has provided funding to all States/ UTs under Nirbhaya Fund
to set up/ strengthening Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs) in every
district of the country. In addition, funding has also been provided for
AHTUs in Border Guarding Forces such as BSF and SSB.788 AHTUs including 30
in Border guarding forces are functional. India is a source as well as
destination country for trafficking of persons. The source countries are
Nepal, Bangladesh and Myanmar from where women and girls are getting
trafficked in the guise of proving better life, jobs and a good living
condition In India. A majority of them are minor girls/ women of younger
age, who are after their arrival in India are sold and forced into
commercial sex work. These girls/ women often reach major cities like Mumbai
Delhi, Hyderabad, etc, from where they are taken out of country mainly in
Middle East and South East Asia. This is the reason why, the bordering
States to these countries need to be more vigilant and have adequate
facilities to provide relief and rehabilitation services to the victims of
- Several Advisories by the government:
Advisory for preventing crime of human , crime against children , missing
children, Preventing and Combating cybercrime against children, Human
Trafficking as Organized Crime, Preventing and combating human trafficking
in India-dealing with foreign nationals, SOP to handle trafficking of
children for child labor dated on several dates from 2009 to 2014.
- IGNOU Certificate Course:
To develop a comprehensive and functional understanding on anti-human
trafficking and coordination amongst learners about various
stakeholders/agencies associated with the process of human trafficking
directly and to build awareness and practical skills in the area of law,
policies, rehabilitation and prevention aspects of human trafficking, a
Certificate Course has been launched by the Indira Gandhi National Open
University (IGNOU) in partnership with the Ministry of Home Affairs. The
said course has been made mandatory for the Officers/Officials.
- Ujjawala Scheme:
The Ministry of Women and Child Development is implementing "Ujjawala" -a
Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of Trafficking and Rescue,
Rehabilitation, Re-integration and Repatriation of Victims of Trafficking
for Commercial Sexual Exploitation.
Firstly, it is crucial for India and its neighboring countries to strengthen
their collaborative efforts. Trafficking networks often exploit porous borders
and discrepancies in legal systems, making cross-border cooperation essential.
Harmonizing legal frameworks, sharing intelligence, and improving coordination
between law enforcement agencies can significantly impede the traffickers'
Moreover, enhancing border security measures is vital in preventing the movement
of trafficked individuals. This includes deploying advanced surveillance
technology, increasing border patrol personnel, and cracking down on corrupt
officials who facilitate human trafficking. Education and awareness campaigns
targeting vulnerable communities are also indispensable in the fight against
Empowering women and girls with knowledge about the risks and warning signs of
trafficking can help them make informed choices and resist exploitation.
Furthermore, providing access to quality education and economic opportunities is
a long-term solution to reducing vulnerability. Support services for survivors
of trafficking must be expanded and improved.
These services should encompass medical care, psychological support, legal
assistance, and opportunities for rehabilitation and reintegration into society.
Empowering survivors to rebuild their lives is essential to breaking the cycle
In addressing this issue, it is crucial to acknowledge that trafficking of women
transcends borders and demands international cooperation. The fight against
human trafficking must not be confined by geographical boundaries; it is a
global problem that requires a global response. India, as a regional leader, can
play a pivotal role in fostering international partnerships to combat this
scourge. In summary, trafficking of women across Indian borders is a grave
violation of human rights that demands comprehensive and sustained efforts.
Through strengthened cooperation, border security, education, survivor support,
and international collaboration, we can hope to make significant progress in
eradicating this abhorrent practice.
It is our moral duty to work tirelessly towards a future where women and girls
can live free from the shackles of exploitation and violence, where their rights
and dignity are upheld, and where human trafficking is nothing more than a dark
chapter in our history.
- Human Trafficking In India
- A trafficking racket that fed on desperation across borders
- Government to help build infrastructure to combat child trafficking in
the border areas.