The Constitution of India prohibits any kind of trafficking in human beings or persons, considering it a violation of Fundamental Rights through Article 23(1). It was through a United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC) protocol that India made the necessary amendments in the criminal law and defined Human Trafficking as any act of the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of a person for exploitation, by means of threat, force, abduction, force, abuse of force, or through inducement. The UNCTOC, which has one of its protocols as Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of Trafficking in person (especially women and children), was ratified by India with Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 and hence, a person involved in human trafficking is punishable with imprisonment for at least 7 years.
The grass root level problem with human trafficking is that it is such a secretive and surreptitious deed that most of the cases where a person goes missing remains unattended or in the files only. This depicts the flaws in the legal framework of India, despite being many conventions at the international and national level to curb the problem, the issue is ever growing one. There are various flaws like corruption, overburdened judiciary, handicapped law enforcers and poorly equipped protection sections, which have contributed to the growth of the cases.
It will not be wrong to say that trafficking has been established as a global crime over a period of time. The affected ones are mostly children and women who are illegally abducted and are trafficked to different countries for the sexual and labor purposes hence making it one of the largest crime industries. The children and women who are trafficked are forced into prostitution, marriages, cheap or unpaid labor, or even taking up arms that leads small children being defenseless against the abuse and exploitation. These practices hamper their emotional, physical, and overall psychological progress.
According to the latest data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) regarding human trafficking in India, an astonishing number of 8,132 cases were reported across India in 2016. Over the period of a decade or so, it has been observed that India has not only become the source but also acted as transiting and destination country for the inhumane practices related to human trafficking. These sadistic practices even include selling of girls of age around 8-10 being sold for the sex trade or parents forcing their children for labor, snatching away the innocence of a small kid.
There is a dire need of more comprehensive and strict rules for the different mechanism to be followed for human protection as these kinds of activities not only hamper the people of the country but it also raises serious questions on the role of the nation on safeguarding its people at the global platforms. In July 2018, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was passed by Lok Sabha. The Bill talks about the investigation of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation of the victims.
It is not only the government who has to act to abolish the monstrous crime or the media who has to bring the cases to light. It should be a collective responsibility of every individual to fight for the eradication of the callous activity of human trafficking. In this direction, Our Voix and its champions have taken a step towards prevention of child sexual abuse by creating awareness about it not only amongst children but also among their parents and teachers, who are children’s first line of interaction.
Author- Shubham Raj
Editor- Saumya Agrawal
Chapter 14 page number 512…