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Human trafficking: A modern-day slavery

Human trafficking in India is one of the critical social problems for which though many legal frameworks and policy interventions are introduced, still, they are not enough and a lot more is required to save the fundamental rights of young girls, women, men and children.

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By Agrima Aron & Akshat Gautam

Human trafficking is becoming an increasingly prevalent issue around the world as most of the victims of these crimes are young girls, women, and children. These young girls and women are then forced into prostitution or are forced to work as slaves. The dilemma of human trafficking in India is affecting the very root of the Indian cultural values in addition to the legal issues towards violation of Human rights. The most dangerous effect of human trafficking is that it attempts to control other’s bodies without their wishes or conscience.

The main target segments are women and children, especially, from economically poor backgrounds who are likely to fall into such traps. Human trafficking in India is one of the critical social problems for which though many legal frameworks and policy interventions are introduced, still, they are not enough and a lot more is required to save the fundamental rights of these young girls, women, men and children. Traffickers are motivated by high profits and low risk due to weak law enforcement and lower prosecutions. More stringent law including seizer of the assets and profits of traffickers with fast-track courts are required to curb human trafficking.

Research questions

1. Whether Human Trafficking is a major crime in India or not?

2. Whether Human trafficking leads to women and child exploitation

3. Whether India has adopted adequate measures to combat human trafficking?

Hypothesis

The crime of Human trafficking is prevailing in those countries which are suffering from poverty, illiteracy, high crime rates and lack of awareness.

Research Objective

1. To perform advocacy work on behalf of victims wherever necessary.

2. To make consistent efforts to influence the relevant changes in the law, policy, and programs regarding trafficking and prostitution at home and abroad.

3. To establish and operate a network of organizations working to combat human trafficking.

Scope of Study

Human trafficking is a huge industry which has been identified as the fastest growing criminal industry in the world. The present paper is mainly based on secondary data, to cover both qualitative and quantitative methods for the data analysis. We have covered the Concept of Human Trafficking, Types of Human Trafficking, History of Human Trafficking in India, Modern day status of Human Trafficking, Indian Legal Provisions on Human Trafficking, International Legal Provisions on Human Trafficking, Available Reports on Human Trafficking, Schemes available in India to control Human Trafficking and Analysis on the available data on Human Trafficking. We have also outlined suggestions based on the research conducted by us to further control Human Trafficking.

1.2 Concept of Human trafficking

As defined in Article 31 means “Trafficking in persons” shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of auction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation.” Thus human trafficking in simple words is the act of trading people from one country to another without their consent to generate some economic, social and political benefit. So there are three important factors which lead to human trafficking, these are:-

1) Trading people:- It means recruiting or transferring people from one country to another for various reasons like:

● Smuggling

● Criminal activities

● Begging

● Forced marriage

● Harvesting of organs

2) Without their consent:- It is one of the most important factor of human trafficking. Victims of human trafficking are often under the influence of coercion, fraud, money or deception. It means that the consent of the individuals is not free.

3) Economic, social and political benefit:- Human trafficking is often committed with the sole purpose of earning some economic benefit like money, social benefit like connections or political benefit like power.

1 Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Human trafficking

Therefore Human trafficking is a world-wide problem affecting a lot of people and thus it has been recognised as an increasing threat. Human trafficking as a crime can be of many types,

these are as follows:-

1) Domestic Servitude:- It is a process of forcing someone to act as a live in help or a domestic help. They are transferred from one country to another by threatening them

or by other practices like fraud, deception, coercion and many more. Generally, the victims of domestic servitude are young women and children. However, when they act as domestic servant they are not allowed to leave the house without taking permission. They also cannot perform anything on their free will and thus they become slaves of their master. 364 cases were reported of Domestic servitude in 20192.

2) Forced labour:- It is a practice that includes sexual exploitation and forced labour. When individuals are forced to do some physical labour without getting paid then it is known as forced labour. In the year 2020, the Indian Government amalgamated 25 labour laws into 3 laws which are the Social Security Code, the Code on Industrial Relations and the Code on Occupational Safety and lastly Health and Working Conditions to prevent forced labour. 1141 cases were reported of forced labour in 20193.

3) Forced marriage:- It means young women generally from rural areas are influenced by men from urban areas to marry them. However after forcefully marrying them they threat their wives to work as sex workers and also use physical force on them. Victims of Forced marriage are generally from poverty ridden families who force their daughter to marry in order to receive money in return. 227 cases were reported of forced marriage in 2019.4

4) Organ trafficking:- Due to the increase of liver and kidney disease, this crime is growing all over the world. Many organs, commonly kidney and livers of various individuals are removed without their consent. In rural areas, people who do not have adequate money willingly use their kidneys as collateral to moneylenders. 4 cases were reported of organ trafficking in 2019.5


1.2.1. History

Human trafficking is considered as a serious crime because it snatches away the fundamental rights of people and forces them to do hideous works for others. It has major effects on the mental and economic well-being of an individual because the victims of human trafficking are deprived of independence, health, food and many essential fundamental rights. This denying of the basic rights to the victims of human trafficking dates way to back in history. It started with “The African Slave Trade”. People from America used to ‘buy’ individuals from Africa and treat them as their slaves. After 1807 this practice was banned and this trade was termed as illegal. However, no sooner than the ban of African trade, a new trend came known as “white slavery”. White slavery means forcefully indulging white women and children into prostitution and other slave related practices. Day by day as white slavery came into the eyes of people, government started making laws to fight it. Therefore, this resulted in

the formation of the “International Agreement for the Suppression of White slavery” in the year 1904. However the World War I made it difficult to carry on with the development of these laws which would have helped women and children against trafficking. Then in the year 1949 the United Nation came up with the act “ United Nations Convention for the Suppression of the Traffic in Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of Others”. It was the 1st legally adopted act by various countries in order to prevent the crime of Human trafficking.

In 2007 World Health Organization stated that “India is a commonly known organ exporting country”. As per the report of 2014, 16 million women were victims of human and sex trafficking every year in India.6

1.2.2 Modern-day situation in India

It has been observed that India has emerged as a source, destination, and transit country for trafficking. India being a country with a large population is seen as one of the biggest victims of human trafficking. According to the study conducted by the Ministry of Women and Child  Development (MWCD) , “There are three million prostitutes in the country, of which an estimated 40 percent are children, as there is a growing demand for very young girls to be inducted into prostitution on account of customer preferences.” Although India is known as the world’s largest democratic country, still the country is facing poverty, illiteracy and violation of human rights. In the year of 2018, 6618 number of human trafficking were reported 7.

 There was a drop in cases from 29.4% in 2018 to 22% in 2019.8 Rajasthan topped the list of cases that were reported of trafficking of minor children in the year 2019.

According to a report9 of World vision charity India, “Trafficking was reported to happen in the context of girls eloping with boyfriends who then sold them into trafficking, or girls falling prey to fake marriage proposals and fake job offers,” However India is adopting major important measures to combat modern-day human trafficking.

1) In 2016 India enacted a scheme known as the “Central Sector Scheme for Rehabilitation for Bonded Labourers”. According to this scheme individuals who are a victim of bonded labour will get compensation of Rs 1,00,000 for men and Rs 2,00,000 for women and children.

2) Ujjawala scheme:- The MCWD launched this scheme in 2007 to prevent the trafficking of women and children for commercial and sexual purposes. Thus Ujjawala scheme was known as the “Comprehensive Scheme for Prevention of Trafficking and Rescue, Rehabilitation and Re-Integration of Victims of Trafficking and Commercial Sexual Exploitation”

3) Swadhar scheme:- It is a scheme which was launched to give relief to the women who are suffering from sex trafficking. It gives them various facilities like food, home, basic necessity items and many more.

4) Childline services:- The number 1098 is a toll-free number on which aggrieved children can call 24/7. It helps the children who are in need and are the victims of forced labour or sex trafficking.

1.3 Legal Provisions

In general, human trafficking across the name is carried out mainly on sexual exploitation where women and children are likely to be victims. It is a very serious crime to commit human rights abuses. In India, human trafficking is the third-largest crime among other crimes. Such crimes are determined by political, economic, and cultural factors. Article 51A(e)10 obliges all citizens of the country to insist that “It is the duty of all citizens of India, to renounce the degrading practices of women and children.” Certain factors lead to human trafficking in the country such as the need for employment, poverty, social conditions, lack of proper education and knowledge, migration, sex tourism, online pornography, child marriage. Trafficking centres are now a major source of human trafficking and exposure to violence and harassment.

Not only women and children are being trafficked but men are also more likely to be involved in crime. In India, large numbers of people are trafficked not only for sexual purposes but also for various forms.

1.3.1 Legal framework

India has various laws enacted by Parliament and other national laws that prohibit human trafficking. There are various articles in the Indian Constitution of India concerning this matter; Article 2311 prohibits human trafficking and solicitation and other coercion. Article 2412 protects children under the age of 14 from working in factories, mines, or other dangerous working conditions. Article 39(e)13 and 39(f)14 ensure that the health and well-being of the victims and that no one is compelled by economic necessity to do the work, which is inconsistent with their age or ability, and that the young child should be protected from exploitation.

In India, there are important regulations that prevent or control human trafficking. Some of them are as follows:

Section 366A15 “Attracting any girl under the age of eighteen to any such place to force or seduce sex with an unlawful person may be punishable by imprisonment” Section 366B16 “To bring in any girl under the age of 21 to be forced, coerced or seduced into having sex with another person illegally is a punishable offense” Section 37417 “Punishes any person who compels anyone to commit a crime against his will” Section 37218 “If any person sells, allows to hire or dispose of any other young person i.e., under the age of 18 for prostitution, etc. You will be punished with imprisonment for any description of up to ten years and you will be fined.”

Apart from these principles, there are many actions the government has introduced to protect Indian citizens from human trafficking. The actions are as follows:

1) Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 The Immoral Traffic (Prevention Act) 1956 is the primary law for the prevention and protection of sexual exploitation of women and children. The Goa Children’s Act, 2003, which is state law, defines the term “Trafficking”. The specific cases are:

• Exploiting the cost of prostitution costs.

• Coercive attempts to seize, take or buy someone for sexual acts or prostitution.

• Keeping a prostitute under the premises.

• Harassing or attracting a detainee.

2) Child Labour (Prevention and Control) Act, 1986 In India, the government has promoted the Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986 which regulates provisions relating to child labour practices held in India. Many changes were made to the provisions of the Act in 2016. After that, the employment of children under 14 is completely banned. Many legal provisions have been introduced under the Act regarding the employment of children over the age of 14.

3) Youth Justice Act (Child Care and Protection), 2000

This act is the basic framework of child justice law in India. It provides a step towards preventing and treating child abuse and provides a framework for the protection, treatment, and rehabilitation of children from the perspective of the juvenile justice system.

It was established to consolidate and amend the law relating to child abuse matters and children in need of care, support, and protection, by providing them with the treatment they need.

Under the Constitution of India, certain articles place a constitutional obligation on the State, to ensure that the rights of children are protected and that all their needs are met. Such texts are as follows:

Article 15(3)19 “Nothing in this article shall prevent the state from rendering any special assistance to women and children” Section 39 (f)20 “Children are provided with opportunities and resources to grow up healthy and in a state of freedom and dignity and that children and young people are protected from exploitation and moral and material abuse” Section 39 (e)21 “The health and capacity of workers, both men and women, and the age of the children are not violated and the citizen is not compelled by economic necessity to include avocados that do not meet their age or capacity”

The government of India have introduced some measures against Human Trafficking which are as follows:

1. Anti-Trafficking Cell: In response to human trafficking issues, the Department of Home Affairs has established Nodal Cell. Preventing Trafficking in Persons is primarily the responsibility of the State Government. Since ‘Police’ is a state, registration and investigation help to control and take a deeper look at the matter. The Indian government has taken various measures to combat the threat of human trafficking. A number of recommendations have been developed by the Provincial Department of Home Affairs and UT from time to time to address the issue of human trafficking in a critical manner.

2. (AHTUs) Anti-Human Trafficking: As mentioned earlier, the MHA project is “Strengthening the rule of law in India in the fight against human trafficking through Training and Capacity Building”, approved the proposal to establish 332 Anti Human Trafficking (AHTU) Units in various districts across the country. The Department provides International financial assistance for the establishment of AHTUs. So far, 264 AHTUs have been established across the country.

Apart from making laws and policies, the government of India has also conducted many research and studies in the field of Human trafficking. These include:-

● The MWCD and UNICEF conducted a study on “Rescue and Rehabilitation of Child Victims Trafficked for Commercial Sexual Exploitation”. The objective of the study is to analyze and understand the victims of human trafficking.

● In 2007, MWCD undertook research on “Girl and Women in Prostitution in India”. This study was held by Gram Niyojan Kendrawhich is an NGO in Uttar Pradesh.

13 1.4 Judicial decisions

a) Akil Ibrahim Arkate vs The State Of Maharashtra on 31 March, 202122 The informant in his supplementary statement gave the names of the hotels where he was forced to go to prostitution. The Victim’s Statement was also recorded under Section 16423.

He identified some of the suspects in the Test Identification Parade, who forcibly had sex with him. An affidavit from the Investigating Investigator revealed that the applicant was the owner of the Green Park Hotel. He was the only one involved in human trafficking. The applicant did not have a license to operate the hotel on time. He did not keep relevant entries in the Register.

According to the prosecution, he was in contact with his co-accused Wasim and Rupali, who often served victims at the hotel. Inquiry papers containing call records are included in the affidavit.

b) Central Bureau Of Investigation vs Birendra Kumar Singh on 29 November, 201324 The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Unit was set up by the petitioner in January 2012 to develop technology in the area of human trafficking, in particular, the trafficking of children and women for solicitation, prostitution, pornography, forced labour and other forms of exploitation.

The investigation further revealed that traffickers lived in different tax colonies and bought

young/adult girls for about a week and girls were sexually assaulted by 8-10 clients daily. During the investigation, five traffickers were arrested by the Anti Human Trafficking Unit including the accused. Several buildings were raided by the applicant’s Anti Human Trafficking Unit and during the raid, two other girls were rescued except for two older girls.

In the case of two young girls, two separate cases were later registered and 21 traffickers were arrested for engaging in child trafficking to sexually abuse them.

c) Dashrathbhai Shankerbhai Raval vs State Of Gujarat on 25 March, 202125 Chief Inspector of Police, Ramol Police Station, Ahmedabad City providing details on how efforts were made to trace a 15-year-old missing person from 19.11.2020.

Alternatively, in accordance with the procedure that if the missing body is not found, the Anti Human Trafficking Unit is discharged within three months. State CID crimes are usually reported six months after they are committed.

Great efforts have been made to trace the corpus by sending teams to physical and technological advances but to no avail, we deem it appropriate to transfer the investigation to Anti Human Trafficking Cell. Let the same be done at its end with the help of the Criminal State CID.

ll documents will be forwarded by the Ramol Police Station to the Anti Human Trafficking Cell within three days. A non-DCP police officer will look into the matter. The Anti-Trafficking Unit will report to this Court on 15.04.2021.

d) Jawahar Das vs The State Of Jharkhand on 8 April, 202126 The F.I.R. was filed on 11.09.2020 stating that the police team had received information that the agent had hired 50 staff to take them to Tamil Nadu where there are also young girls. The applicant employed the staff of Loyal Textile Mills Garments Co and produced all the required documents. 53 employees present were 43 women and 10 men and one 17-year-old girl. During an investigation by a police team, the girl could not be reached for comment.

Various documents were seized, including bank passports and the Inter-State Migrant Workers ID Card. It is alleged that human trafficking in a separate Government is perpetrated by the applicant and others and the case is registered under Sections 370(1) and 370(4)27 read with Section 14(1A)28

1.5 Analysis

Human trafficking is a collective social problem that involves the exploitation of people for profit or profit. As a modern form of slavery, human trafficking violates human rights, raises health concerns around the world, and is rampant in both poor and rich countries. Human trafficking is the process of hiring, transporting or obtaining forced labour under threat or coercion, coercion, or payment and compensation for the purpose of giving or controlling forced labour to exploit that person to his or her satisfaction.

The trafficking of women and children is a gross violation of human rights and is considered a threat to human health. There is a lot of crime going on but trading in human suffering is painful in some cases. Human trafficking is a complex process in which victims go through many different stages (employment, transportation, exploitation, and rejection) and perhaps in different countries. Human rights abuses that keep people at risk or in danger of exploitation. Restrictions on travel, deprivation of safety and security, denial of health services, education, and restrictions on social deprivation all violate human rights.

India is one of the world’s leading examples of migration and sexual trafficking. India’s most famous smuggling can be said to be done in a foreign land. 90% of trafficking is done in this way and 10% of it occurs abroad. India faces a crisis of forced labour. Employee trafficking, as noted earlier, human trafficking, fraud, coercion and so on, is a gross violation of human rights. It includes acts of slavery, debt bondage, etc. Sexual trafficking is one of the worst crimes and it can be the worst form of human exploitation.

It is considered to be the highest crime among all forms of trafficking as it affects the sexual involvement of women and children. First, it violates Article 2129 , as well as Article 1430 and many other laws, such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, 2000. Opinions on human trafficking often include women who are forced into prostitution and this is just one aspect. ofhuman trafficking and can be described as one of the aspects of human trafficking.

6 Conclusion

Trafficking in human beings, mainly in women children are becoming the need of the hour. and calls for a holistic, multi-sectoral method to deal with this complicated crime. It is a hassle that violates the rights and dignity of the sufferers and thus requires laws and policies that are especially concentrated on the protection of women and children. In the process of combating human trafficking, governmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, and international bodies, all ought to play a vital position Law cannot be the only tool to deal with complicated social problems, the mindset and attitude of people also need to be changed 1.

6  Suggestions

Being educated about the symptoms of human trafficking increases the chances of reporting and can provide a voice for victims who do not feel comfortable talking about it. Symptoms of human trafficking come in many forms. Bad work and living conditions, poor mental health, and lack of control are some of the key areas you should seek. Raising awareness about human trafficking can also get more people involved and interested in joining the war. It can cause a chain reaction, which has led many people to recruit, raise money, and educate.

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