Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

This article covers “Daily Current Affairs” and the topic details “Human Trafficking”. The topic “Human Trafficking” has relevance in the Governance section of the UPSC CSE exam.

For Prelims:

What is Human Trafficking?

For Mains:

GS 2 : Governance

Status of Human Trafficking in India?

Relevant Laws and Conventions?

Causes of Human Trafficking?

Impacts of Human Trafficking?

Way Forward?

Why in the news?

The Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, has approved a scheme that aims to provide financial assistance to states and Union Territories to establish protection and rehabilitation homes for victims of trafficking, particularly in states with international borders.

What is Human Trafficking?

Human trafficking refers to the illegal trade and exploitation of human beings. It involves the recruitment, transportation, harboring, or receipt of individuals through force, fraud, or coercion, often across national borders. Human trafficking is considered a grave violation of human rights and a form of modern-day slavery.

Forms of Human Trafficking:

  • Forced Labor: Exploitation in industries such as agriculture, construction, domestic work, and manufacturing.
  • Sexual Exploitation: Trafficking for prostitution and pornography.
  • Child Trafficking: Involving child labor, forced begging, child marriage, adoption scams, and sexual exploitation.
  • Bonded Labor: Trapping individuals in debt bondage, where they work to repay an increasing debt.
  • Organ Trafficking: Illegal trade of organs for transplantation purposes.


Status of Human Trafficking in India:

  • Statistics provided by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) show that  2,189 cases of human trafficking were filed in 2022, involving 6,533 victims of which 4,062 were female victims and 2,471 male victims.Also, 2,877 victims were minors.
  • States like Telangana, Maharashtra, and Assam reported higher numbers of cases due to various factors such as porous border, high population density and more active organised crime networks.


Relevant Laws and Conventions:

Constitution of India:

  • Article 23 prohibits human trafficking and begar (forced labor without payment).
  • Article 24 forbids the employment of children below the age of 14 years in hazardous occupations like factories and mines.

Indian Penal Code (IPC):

  • Section 370 and 370A of the IPC provide comprehensive measures to counter human trafficking, including trafficking of children for exploitation in any form, physical exploitation, sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude, or forced removal of organs.
  • Sections 372 and 373 deal with selling and buying of girls for the purpose of prostitution.

Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA):

  • The ITPA is the primary legislation for preventing and combating trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation in India.
  • It criminalizes various activities related to prostitution, brothel keeping, and solicitation.

International Conventions Addressing Human Trafficking:

  • UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime: This convention, also known as the Palermo Convention, is a comprehensive framework to combat transnational organized crime, including human trafficking.
  • SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution: It aims to promote cooperation among SAARC member countries to address the root causes of trafficking, protect and rehabilitate victims, and prosecute offenders.


Causes of Human Trafficking:

  • Socioeconomic Factors: Economic inequality and disparities, unemployment and lack of economic opportunities, lack of education and awareness, migration and displacement
  • Gender Inequality and Discrimination: Violence against women, child marriage, and limited access to education.
  • Political Instability and Conflict: Displacement and vulnerability.
  • Corruption and Organized Crime: Impunity for traffickers due to corruption within law enforcement and immigration authorities.


Impacts of Human Trafficking:

  • Physical and Psychological Trauma: Abuse, violence, injuries, and psychological disorders.
  • Violation of Human Rights: Deprivation of freedom, dignity, and security.
  • Economic Exploitation: Harsh working conditions, low or no pay, and debt bondage.
  • Disruption of Social Fabric: Separation of families, loss of social support networks, and strained relationships within communities.


Way Forward:

  • Strengthen Legislation and Law Enforcement: Enact and enforce robust anti-trafficking laws and enhance training programs for law enforcement agencies.
  • Technological Solutions: Develop advanced tools for data analysis, artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology to combat trafficking and enhance supply chain transparency.
  • International Collaboration: Facilitate knowledge exchange and partnerships between countries, NGOs, academia, and the private sector to combat human trafficking effectively.



Q.1 Which international convention addresses the prevention and suppression of human trafficking, especially women and children?

(a) United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child

(b) UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women

(c) Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination

(d) UN Convention on Transnational Organized Crime


Q.2 Which article of the Indian Constitution specifically prohibits human trafficking and forced labor?

(a) Article 19

(b) Article 21

(c) Article 23

(d) Article 24


Q.3 Discuss the socio-economic factors contributing to human trafficking in India and analyze the measures that can be taken to address these factors and prevent trafficking.

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