Human Trafficking: Are we revolving the needles anticlockwise

Human Trafficking: Are we revolving the needles anticlockwise

SOURCE- Pib, Livemint)


In the recent controversy over human trafficking and bonded labor in Punjab, the Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has defined the concept of bonded labor.

Background of the recent case in Punjab-

  • Recently a dispute has arisen in the matter of human trafficking and bonded labor in Punjab.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs released an advisory related to human trafficking in the border areas of Punjab.
  • In the context of this advisory, a rumor was born that the Ministry of Home Affairs has held the farmers of Punjab responsible for human trafficking, although the Ministry of Home Affairs gives an explanation on this issue.
  • In this dispute, the Supreme Court said that forced labor to pay less than the required salary is bonded labor.

Human Trafficking-

  • Human trafficking is the process of trapping people through violence, deception, or coercion and exploiting them for financial or personal gain.
  • Data has shown in trafficking, girls are compelled to sexually exploit. At the same time, individuals are forced to accept a risky work offer and work in construction sites, farms or factories. Women are recruited to work in private homes.
  • This is a common problem in the border regions of India.
  • Sexual exploitation, forced labor, promotion of begging, crime (such as increasing cannabis or dealing with drugs), domestic slavery, marriage or organ removal, etc. are the results of human trafficking.

Data related to Human Trafficking-

  • As estimated by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) The most trafficked sections are women. 51% of trafficking victims in the world are women. 28% of children and 21% of men are victims of human trafficking.
  • While smuggling comprises 63% of males and 37% of females. 72% of the women exploited in the sex industry are women. 43% of the victims are within national boundaries.

Some Constitutional and legislative provisions related to human trafficking –

  • Article 21 of the Indian Constitution put forward the concept of a dignified life.
  • Under Article 23 (1) of the Indian Constitution, human transport prohibits labor and trafficking in persons.
    The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the principal legislation for the prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 replaces Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code with Sections 370 and 370A IPC, which provides comprehensive measures to prevent human trafficking.
  • Other specific laws related to trafficking in women and children are the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006, Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Violation of Human Organization Act, 1994.
  • State governments have also enacted specific laws to deal with this issue. (Example Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012)
  • The Government of India is working on a plan to fight human trafficking through four ‘P’ models Prosecution (Prosecution), Protection (Prevention), Prevention (Prevention), and Partnership (Participation).

Measures Taken by Government of India-

Administrative measures-

1. Anti Trafficking Cell (ATC)-

An Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cell was set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Central Government (CS Division in 2006) to communicate various decisions and follow the action taken by the State Governments.

2. Ministry of Home Affairs –

Ministry conducts coordination meetings with the Nodal Officers of designated anti-human trafficking units in all the States / Union Territories to solve the problem of human trafficking.

Some Steps of Home Ministry are as follows:-

  • Ministry is working on effectiveness to combat the crime of human trafficking and increase accountability of law enforcement machinery, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued a comprehensive advisory to all states / UTs.
  • As part of a comprehensive scheme, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released funds for setting up anti-human trafficking units in 270 districts of the country in response to the law enforcement against trafficking of persons through training and capacity building in India.

3. Strengthening Capacity Building-

  • To enhance the capacity building of law enforcement agencies and create awareness among them, police officers are trained at the regional level, state level, and district level civil officers.

4. Measures Taken by the Indian Judicial system-

  • To train and sensitize the judicial officers of the trial court, human trafficking involves judicial colloquial hearings at the High Court level. The objective is to sensitize the judicial authorities about various issues related to human trafficking and ensure speedy court proceedings.
  • So far, eleven judicial colloquies have been held in Chandigarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha.

International conventions on Human Trafficking-

  • India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC) as the prevention, suppression, and punishment of trafficking, particularly in women and children.
  • India has ratified the SAARC Convention on the Prevention and Combination of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. A regional task force was formed to implement the SAARC Conference.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation for the prevention of human trafficking in women and children between India and Bangladesh, rescue, recovery, repatriation, and reintegration of victims of trafficking was signed in June 2015.

way forward-

  • Experts observe that the main problem of human trafficking here is that in this human being is treated like a commodity and it causes human dignity to be violated. Its practice in a democratic country like India presents a negative image of India.
  • To conquer the problem of Human Trafficking, it is necessary that the concept of socioeconomic and political justice described in the Preamble of India be ensured to all the citizens, to achieve the goal of fraternity.

-Khyati Khare

Download Daily Current Affairs of 09 Jun 2021

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