HUMAN TRAFFICKING: A CURSE TO THE SOCIETY
Author: Anuja Saklani, V year of B.A.,LL.B. from Delhi Metropolitan Education, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University.
As said by Edmund Burke “Slavery is a weed that grows on every soil.”
Human trafficking is one of the most horrific crimes that exist in our society. Not only in our society, but throughout the whole globe this phenomenon is growing rapidly. Human trafficking which is also known as “trafficking of human beings” as a crime affects people irrespective of their caste, creed, religion and gender. Human trafficking is deeply rooted in our system. So here are few definitions on human trafficking given by different organizations/ websites.
According to United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons: “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or 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 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.”
According to Huff post “Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery. It’s the exploitation of people and involves the use of force, fraud or coercion to obtain some type of labor or commercial sex act.”
According to the Oxford American Dictionary “the crime of transporting or controlling people and forcing them to work in the sex trade or other forms of forced labor.”
Human trafficking is a serious threat which prevails in the society that violates the rights of the human beings.
FORMS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
According to Global Report on Trafficking in Persons’ by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), the most common form of human trafficking is sexual exploitation (79%). Generally the women and the girls are the sufferers of sexual exploitation. The second most form of human trafficking is forced labor (18%). Men and boys are generally the victims of forced labor.
Forced marriage is also a form of human trafficking where a woman is sent abroad, forced into the marriage and then frequently forced to engage in cohabitation. All over the world, out of all the trafficking victims 20% are children.
REGIONS WHERE HUMAN TRAFFICKING IS ON RISE
Areas such as Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar Karnataka and West Bengal are such places where human trafficking is on rise.
Nationwide, Assam holds the highest position of child trafficking cases.
Bangladesh secures the first position with the highest rate of human trafficking in the world.
Poor and poverty stricken areas of the society, of the world where awareness, education and employment possibilities are very sparse.
EFFECTS OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
There are several serious effects of human trafficking which directly affect the victims which are as follows:
1. MENTAL SUFFERING: The mental suffering, the mental agony through which a victim of human trafficking goes is something which cannot be explained. The mental stress that is there on their mind is devastating and due to which they may experience memory loss, agitation, uneasiness, misery and several other kinds of mental agony.
2. PHYSICAL SUFFERING: Generally the victims of sexual exploitation, which is a form of human trafficking experience physical suffering. Such victims are afraid of establishing new relations with people. They may be beaten up burned and raped by the trader and the customers. There is also a fear of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV and AIDS. Lack of proper medical facilities even worsens the situation.
3. SOCIAL EXCLUSION: Victims of human trafficking often face social exclusion. They are secluded from their friends circle, social circle etc.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE UNITED NATIONS TO COMBAT THIS PRACTICE
These include –
UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) aided many NGOs in the fight against human trafficking.
The United Nations Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking (UNGIHT) was formulated to promote the global fight against human trafficking.
United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, 2010; which is there to provide humanitarian, legal and financial aid to victims of human trafficking.
HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND INDIA
Human trafficking is rapidly growing in many parts of India. Regions like Bihar, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal and Assam are such places where this heinous crime is on rise. Delhi is becoming the new hotspot for human trafficking. Here girls are being sold for the purpose of prostitution, sexual exploitation and to work as a bonded labor. The situation is quite worse now. As per the reports of Indian Government human trafficking rose by 20% in 2016 against the previous year. According to National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) there were 8,132 human trafficking cases last year against 6,877 in 2015, with highest number of cases reported in the state of West Bengal followed by Rajasthan in the West.
STEPS TAKEN BY THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA
The Indian Government enacted “The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) “which is the primary legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
Anti- trafficking Nodal Cell was also established by the Ministry of Home Affairs.
The Government of India enacted Protection of Children from Sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, which is a special law to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
The Ministry of Women and Child Development made first ever anti-human trafficking law to fight back against human trafficking.
Funds for rehabilitation and other issues of the victims of human trafficking are provided by the government.
For effectively tackling the serious issue like human trafficking, the Ministry of Home Affairs appointed several advisories.
India and Bangladesh signed a MOU for Prevention of Human Trafficking in Women and Children.
Sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) prohibit kidnapping and selling minors into prostitution.
Programme such as “Ujjawala” is also implemented by the Ministry of Women and Child Development which is concerned with rescue, reformation of victims.
Article 23, of the Constitution prohibits “Traffic in human beings and other similar forms of it”
The Government has even launched a website known as “Lost and Found” or “Khoya Paya” to help the families to trace the children who have been missing since ages and has been abducted for sexual exploitation or forced labor.
Even though several attempts and efforts have been taken by the Government of India and worldwide too but still this menace is prevailing in the society. In order to remove this menace from the society stringent rules and laws should be made. Making of rules and laws will not help until and unless they are implemented strongly. So it is the implementation process that is important. Different and innovative programmes should be held to aware people about human trafficking. It’s high time that we stand against this menace, before it’s too late.