What is Human Trafficking?
Trafficking in Persons is defined as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. [as defined by United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime]
Human Trafficking In India:
Human trafficking in India, although illegal under Indian law, remains a significant problem. People are frequently illegally trafficked through India for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced/bonded labor. Although no reliable study of forced and bonded labor has been completed, NGOs estimate this problem affects 20 to 65 million Indians. Men, women, and children are trafficked in India for diverse reasons. Women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage, especially in those areas where the sex ratio is highly skewed in favor of men. Men and boys are trafficked for the purposes of labor and may be sexually exploited by traffickers to serve as gigolos, massage experts, escorts, etc. A significant portion of children are subjected to forced labor as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars, and agriculture workers, and have been used as armed combatants by some terrorist and insurgent groups.
India is also a destination for women and girls from Nepal and Bangladesh trafficked for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Nepali children are also trafficked to India for forced labor in circus shows. Indian women are trafficked to the Middle East for commercial sexual exploitation. Indian migrants who migrate willingly every year to the Middle East and Europe for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers may also end up part of the human trafficking industry. In such cases, workers may have been ‘recruited’ by way of fraudulent recruitment practices that lead them directly into situations of forced labour, including debt bondage; in other cases, high debts incurred to pay recruitment fees leave them vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers in the destination countries, where some are subjected to conditions of involuntary servitude, including non-payment of wages, restrictions on movement, unlawful withholding of passports, and physical or sexual abuse.
Human trafficking in India results in women suffering from both mental and physical issues. Mental issues include disorders such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety. The lack of control women have in trafficking increases their risk of suffering from mental disorders. Women who are forced into trafficking are at a higher risk for HIV, TB, and other STDs. Condoms are rarely used and therefore there is a higher risk for victims to suffer from an STD. Filmmaker Manish Harishankar highlights the issue of child trafficking in India in his thriller film Chaarfutiya Chhokare, showing the problem, nexus, modus operandi and repercussions. The thriller film Thira, directed by Vineet Srinivasan, also addresses human trafficking in India.
U.S. State Department’s Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons placed the country in “Tier 2” in 2017. [Source: Wikipedia]
Data Analysis on Human Trafficking (State-wise) Data Set (2016) released by Indian Government:
Indian Government published Dataset on its platform data.gov.in about the number of human trafficking cases state-wise in India. I was interested in analyzing this data set to understand this crime in depth and try to find out the reasons for the high number of trafficking cases from certain states.
According to the data-set:
- There were total 10,815 arrests made in India for Human Trafficking in 2016.
- Only 7292 charge sheets were filed and only 159 people were actually convicted.
To be Continued…
- Human Trafficking State-wise Data Set [Link to download the human trafficking data by Indian Govt.]
- What is Human Trafficking [UNODC]
- Data and Statistics on Human Trafficking In India
- UNODC Global Report on Human Trafficking