Video Summary

[RSTV The Big Picture] War Against Human Trafficking

It is important to strengthen the existing laws as well as to have a public-justice response system to address human trafficking. Hence, the Government is now planning to reintroduce the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 to check human trafficking.
By IT's Video Summary Team
August 07, 2019

Contents

  • Introduction
  • Current Global situation of Human Trafficking:
  • Current situation of Human Trafficking in India:
  • Role of Social media
  • Suggestions
  • Reporting of Human Trafficking
  • Significance of the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
  • Key Facts
  • Conclusion
  • IT’s Input
    • About Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) bill

[RSTV The Big Picture] War Against Human Trafficking

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Introduction:

  • Human Trafficking, a crime wherein victims are bought and sold for their exploitation, has emerged as a significant problem all across the world.
  • In 2010, UN General Assembly adopted the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons to encourage the international community to take action against this crime.
  • According to the Global report on trafficking in persons released by UN office on Drugs and Crime, countries are now detecting and reporting more victims.
  • This report also says that most vulnerable individuals are women and girls with majority of victims being trafficked for sexual exploitation and 35 percent of those trafficked for forced labour being female.
  • Human trafficking is prohibited in India under Article 23 (1) of the Constitution and Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956 is the premier legislation to deal with this issue.

Current Global situation of Human Trafficking:

  • As per the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) report, 90% of the sexual victims are women and girls. It also says that in the South Asia region, 85% of the victims are exploited for forced labour.
  • Several report shows that the trafficking is occurring between the countries, however, the UNODC report 2019 shows that 60% of the trafficking occurs internally in a country.
  • The Human trafficking is the third most challenging crime in the world in terms of turn over and human misery. First is drugs and second is weapons.
  • Apart from prostitution, there are other four new dimension of human trafficking that have emerged making the problem complicated ever before:
  • Drug Carriers
  • Organ harvesting
  • Child Soldiers
  • Child Pornography

Current situation of Human Trafficking in India:

  • The trafficking in India occur for several reasons such as for sex, surrogacy, forced labour etc. It occurs due to the poverty as well as absence of strict law in India.
  • In India, the most affected state in human trafficking is West Bengal followed by Chhattisgarh, Assam, Jharkhand etc. The Sundarbans area of west Bengal is most affected human trafficking area.
  • The Justice Verma Committee, constituted to recommend amendments to the Criminal Law for the punishment of committing sexual assault against women, suggested the insertion of section 370 in IPC dedicated to trafficking crimes.
  • Indian government formed this committed dedicated to trafficking crimes only in 2012, that shows the lateness of Indian government in addressing human trafficking.
  • In some areas, when girls from villages goes to the mobile recharge centers, their numbers are transferred to the traffickers through recharge center owner. These traffickers then entices the girls over phone and pulls them into trafficking. Hence, apart from police and NGOs, the role of community in preventing such crimes are also t important.

Role of Social media:

  • The social media has become a new tool for human trafficking. Currently, there are no legal mechanism to address the human trafficking occurring on the social media platforms (Facebook, WhatsApp etc.)
  • The Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) have used biggest ever social media usage in radicalization and brain washing of people to joint their group. Moreover, there are organized crime syndicates and special interest groups who are experts in brain washing of people (to join their terrorist groups).

Suggestions:

  • In India, there are lots of laws pertaining to Human trafficking which includes the IPC Section 366A, 366B, 370 & 374, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015, Information Technology Act, 2000 as well as Article 23 and 24 of constitution. The enforcement of these existing laws should be taken as a priority.
  • Moreover, there is need to educate the 25 sections of IPC pertaining to the body offences, property offences etc. to the general mass of India.
  • Also, the role of NGO is also important in handling human trafficking. The synergy between public, police and government is imperative in addressing human trafficking issues.
  • There is need for the time bound rescue as well as rehabilitation of victims.
  • The Nithari case, in which several children were missing during 2005-06 from the Nithari village of Uttar Pradesh, shows the lack of awareness on human trafficking. Hence, it is important to educate children on crime of trafficking as well as making society aware of the menace of human trafficking.
  • 70% of the people being trafficking are Some schools are not willing to tack back the students who were the victims of human trafficking. Hence, there is need for massive awareness drive at the level of school.
  • The police also need to be educated on several aspects of human trafficking. All police officers who are indifferent and oblivious to the duties in human trafficking matters need to be prosecuted.
  • Also, school curriculum should include the information related to the crimes of human trafficking. However, states such as Jharkhand has already included in their school curriculum.
  • The organ trade, being massive inter-country operation, as offshoot of human trafficking needs to be addressed.

Reporting of Human Trafficking:

  • The commitment of Indian government to do robust reporting of human trafficking is important as the strategies and polices to address human trafficking will be impacted by these reports.
  • Since 2014, National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) has been recording bonded labour cases. In the latest 2016 report of NCRB, it noted that the out of 23 thousand human trafficking cases, around 10 thousand were exploited for force labour. This kind of reporting, which were never happened earlier, shows that the government is acting on the ground.

Significance of the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) bill, 2018:

  • The Indian Penal Code (IPC) has several staggered sections addressing the human trafficking which provides various loopholes for criminals to get away with the law. However, all the aspects of human trafficking, from prevention to how to deal with human trafficking criminals, is mentioned in a single bill.
  • Previously in India, there was no firm legal definition of trafficking. However, the bill adds the definition of trafficking.

Key Facts:

  • The World Day against Trafficking in Persons is observed every year on 30th
  • According to the National Crime Records Bureau, a total of more than 8000 cases of human trafficking were reported in India in 2016 under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. This is 15% increase from the number of cases reported in 2015.
  • In 2011, India ratified the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organised Crimes, 2000, including its Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in person.

Conclusion:

  • Everyone, from government to civil societies to United Nation, should acknowledge that the human trafficking problem is worthy of attention.
  • The right to be protected against human trafficking and to have a life of dignity and safety is a constitutional right.
  • The key to address the human trafficking lies in the realm of massive awareness programmes.

IT’s Input:

  • In India, trafficking is primarily an offence under the Indian Penal Code, 1860. In addition, there are also other laws which regulate trafficking for specific purposes.
  • For instance, the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986 deals with trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Similarly, the Bonded Labour Regulation Act, 1986 and Child Labour Regulation Act, 1986 deal with exploitation for bonded labour. 
  • Each of these laws operate independently, have their own enforcement machinery and prescribe penalties for offences related to trafficking.

About Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) bill

  • The Bill creates a law for investigation of all types of trafficking, and rescue, protection and rehabilitation of trafficked victims.

Definition of Trafficking:

  • The Bill defines trafficking to mean: (i) recruitment, (ii) transportation, (iii) harbouring, (iv) transfer, or (v) receipt of a person for exploitation, by using certain means.

Aggravated Trafficking:

  • The Bill also classifies certain purposes of trafficking as ‘aggravated’ forms of trafficking. These include trafficking for the purposes of: (i) forced labour, (ii) bearing children, (iii) inducing early sexual maturity by administering chemical substances or hormones, or (iv) begging. 
  • The punishment for aggravated trafficking is higher than for simple trafficking.

Rescue and Investigation:

The Bill sets up various authorities at the district, state and national levels for rescue of trafficked persons and investigation of offences.

District Level:

  • At the district level, the state government will appoint anti-trafficking police officers and constitute Anti-Trafficking Units for one or more districts to rescue persons. The authorities are required to close the investigation of the offence within a period of 90 days from the date of registration of the FIR.

State level:

  • At the state level, the state government will appoint a nodal office to: (i) combat trafficking in the state,

National Level:

  • At the national level, the central government will constitute a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau, which may take over investigation of cases referred to it by two or more states.

Protection and rehabilitation:

  • The Bill requires the government to set up Protection Homes, to provide shelter, food, counselling, and medical services to victims.
  • The Bill requires the governments to set up anti-trafficking committees at the district, state and national levels to ensure the rehabilitation of victims.
  • The central government will also create a Rehabilitation Fund, which will be used to set up Protection and Rehabilitation Homes.

Preventive Measures:

  • The district and state anti-trafficking committees will undertake measures to protect and prevent vulnerable persons from being trafficked.
  • These measures include:
  • Facilitating implementation of livelihood and educational programmes for vulnerable communities
  • Facilitating implementation of various government programmes and schemes for prevention of trafficking
  • Developing law and order framework to ensure prevention of trafficking

Special Courts:

  • The Bill provides for setting up designated courts in each district, which will seek to complete trial of trafficking cases within a year.

Penalties:

  • The Bill specifies various penalties. All offences are cognizable (i.e. police officer can arrest without a warrant) and non-bailable. If a person is found guilty under the Bill and also under any other law, the punishment which is higher will apply.

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