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Human trafficking problem in India & the road ahead

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Trafficking in human beings is estimated as one of the largest organized crimes violating basic human rights in India and around the world. In this article, we will analyze the scary situation in India and counters to it.

Starting Point: As per NCRB Report on missing persons in Crime in India, a total of 2,90,439 people in year 2016, 3,05,267 people in 2017, and 3,47,524 people in 2018 have been reported as “missing“, of which women 2,23,621 women in 2018 have been registered as ‘missing’. According to same report, around 60000 children go missing. However since these figures are official, experts say actual numbers are on a higher extent as these cases are only recorded cases.

Resulting of trafficking in human beings result in different forms of trafficking, (or torture):

  • Sexual exploitation, for example, forcing someone into prostitution or exploitation in the sex industry.
  • Forced marriage and forced adoption
  • Labour exploitation and forced labour
  • Forced begging and forced criminal activity and
  • Trade in human organs and tissues

We can see result of forced begging in our daily life. Sex trafficking racket has been working quietly in all cities. Forced adoption rarely come into limelight as most of these children are trafficked abroad. Speaking of Forced labour and Bonded Labour, these crime syndicate mafias are also very strong having involvement both nationally and internationally. Some cases of forced labour have aslo been highlighted recently, where 52 persons were made to work 3 years for 19 hours a day in Karnataka.

Each and every form results in physical, emotional, sexual torture of its own magnitude. And in case of Trading of organs, sometimes one has to be killed also.

Govt Response and Loop Holes

Its not that Indian state don’t have legislation to prevent such heinous crimes. In fact India have a bunch of legislation namely,

  • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986
  • Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976
  • Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000
  • Transplantation of Human Organ Act (THO), 1994

But these laws are not able to stop human trafficking crimes as most of these acts are outdated, and punishment for committing these crimes are less severe (if at all anyone is Convicted- thanks to corruption in Executive, and an inefficient Judiciary as 3 cr cases are already pending in Courts.)

The Road Ahead

Accordingly, a stricter bill on the matter was passed by the Lok Sabha on 26th July 2018. However, it could not be considered by the Rajya Sabha and lapsed on the dissolution of the 16th Lok Sabha. As of now, The Bill is being revisited to make it more effective and the same will be introduced in the Parliament after following due procedure. A Group of Ministers (GoM) has been constituted to examine the draft Trafficking in Person (Prevention, Protection, Rehabilitation) Bill before its consideration by the Cabinet.

On our bit, we can least sign a petition to expedite the passage of the new anti-human trafficking bill into an Act.


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