In this article, we will discuss human trafficking in a simple and easy way and try to understand its various legal provisions, so definitely read this article till the end;

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Meaning of human trafficking

Human trafficking is the sale and purchase of human beings as commodities, forcing women into prostitution, slavery, and other similar practices that lead to the exploitation of human beings.

In fact, by using power or by taking advantage of the situation, when someone is forced to work against his will and more than his ability and is not paid according to it, then it is called exploitation.

Under Article 23, human trafficking and forced labor have been prohibited. There are two terms in this, the first is human trafficking and the second is forced labour.

In this article we are going to focus on human trafficking or human trafficking. Both are related to each other. Read the given article to understand Forced Labor in detail- Article 23 (Forced Labour)

⚫ So as we understood in human trafficking people are sold or engaged in some immoral and criminal act by using means like force, threat or coercion.

The ultimate aim of these acts and means is to use these persons for the purpose of exploitation. The exploitation of these individuals takes many highly abhorrent forms such as prostitution, organ trade, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery and servitude.

Although this problem exists in all parts of the world, some of the most affected regions in this regard are Sub-Saharan Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia.

⚫ Every year 30 July is observed as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. In 2010, the United Nations adopted the Global Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons to create greater awareness around the world of the heinous nature of the crime of trafficking.

30 July – World Day against Trafficking in Persons 2023

The overwhelming proportion of persons trafficked as human traffickers include women and children who are used for various forms of unethical labor or sexual exploitation.

cause of human trafficking

There are many complex factors contributing to the prevalence of human trafficking, and it can be difficult to identify specific causes.

But still some important reasons were identified, due to which individuals might be involved in unethical activities like human trafficking;

poverty – Smuggling thrives in places where there is widespread poverty. Parents sell their children because poverty leaves them no other option, often thinking that selling their children will take them to places that are much better and where their lives will improve.

social situation – Young women are more vulnerable to trafficking in society. The reason for this can be attributed to women being seen as objects of enjoyment.

migration – The desire to flee from places where their life is miserable makes individuals open to the approach of traffickers.

In the initial stages, they are lured with the promise of a better life, but once the victims are under their control, they are made to do whatever they want.

For example, people who have gone to Arab countries in search of work due to someone’s greed have been treated like slaves many times.

There are also many factors that promote human trafficking, such as corrupt government officials, the involvement of transnational organized criminal groups or networks, and the limited capacity or commitment of officials responsible for controlling borders.

Types of human trafficking

There are several types of human trafficking, including:

Sexual exploitation : This type of trafficking involves the exploitation of someone for the purpose of sexual gratification. This may include prostitution, pornography and other forms of sexual exploitation.

Forced labor : This type of trafficking involves forcing someone to work against their will, often under threat of violence or other forms of coercion. This can happen in a variety of industries such as agriculture, construction and manufacturing.

Domestic servitude : This type of trafficking involves keeping someone in a home or other domestic setting and forcing them to work for little or no pay.

Debt bondage : This type of trafficking occurs when a person is forced to work to pay off a loan and is unable to leave due to the loan being continually compounded through exorbitant interest or other charges.

organ trafficking : This type of trafficking involves the removal and sale of organs from one person to another.

It is important to note that these types of trafficking can often overlap and a person may be subjected to multiple types of exploitation.

Legal provisions to prevent human trafficking

⚫ Article 23(1) of the Constitution of India prohibits human trafficking and states that any violation thereof shall be an offense punishable in accordance with law.

⚫ Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code mentions that whoever, by using force or intimidation for the purpose of exploitation, recruits, transports or moves any person or persons to commit immoral acts. So it will be considered as the offense of smuggling.

Whoever commits the offense of smuggling shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years but which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

⚫ The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) was enacted in 1956 to prevent human trafficking. Let’s understand a little about it;

| The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) 1956

India was a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Suppression of Smuggling in 1950 in New York.

Keeping this declaration in mind, the Government of India passed the All India Suppression of Immoral Traffic Act in the year 1956.

This act became famous by the name of SITA Act. Because it was brought with the aim of suppressing the immoral trade of women and girls in India.

In the year 1986, this SITA was amended and now it is named – The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.

The purpose of bringing this law was to limit and eventually eliminate prostitution in India by gradually criminalizing various aspects of sex work.

  • This act states the illegality of prostitution and the punishment for owning any such related establishment.
  • Any person involved in any stage of chain activities such as recruiting, transporting, transferring, harboring or receiving people for the purpose of prostitution may also be punished.
  • If any person is found guilty of involving a child in any such activity, he is punishable by law and can be imprisoned for seven years or more.

Apart from the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, several other initiatives have been taken by the government and other concerned authorities.

  • The National Action Plan 1998 was formulated to combat trafficking and commercial sexual exploitation of women and children.
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs has set up a dedicated cell for prevention of smuggling.
  • The Ministry of Women and Child Development (MWCD), along with the Ministry of External Affairs, has attempted to set up a special task force to combat cross-border trafficking.


⚫ The menace of smuggling has grown over the years into an organized criminal syndicate comparable to drug syndicates. It has taken deep roots in the society with the help of money and corrupt politicians.

⚫ Due to the lack of concrete definitions in the Indian legal framework, it does not provide much assistance to the victims of human trafficking. In addition, traffickers get away on the basis of technical loopholes in legal systems.

⚫ The lack of supervision on social media platforms has opened up a new platform for traffickers to ply their trade.

⚫ Data on the problem of trafficking is insufficient, thus the patterns and modus operandi of traffickers are not as clear as they should be.

Even when the victims are taken back from traffickers, they are not rehabilitated in such a way that they do not become victims of trafficking again.

Role of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

There are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that work to combat human trafficking and assist victims of this crime. Some examples of NGOs that focus on human trafficking include:

International Justice Mission : The organization works to protect the oppressed people from violence, including human trafficking, by providing legal intervention and other forms of assistance. Its headquarter is Washington DC, USA.

Polaris: The organization operates the National Human Trafficking Hotline in the United States and provides a range of services to victims of trafficking, including crisis support and access to legal and social services.

The A21 Campaign: The organization works to combat human trafficking through prevention, protection, and prosecution efforts. It operates a number of programs to assist victims of trafficking, including shelters and legal aid.

Love146: The organization works to end child trafficking and exploitation through a range of programs including survivor care, education and advocacy efforts.

Free the Slaves: The organization works to end modern slavery and human trafficking through research, advocacy, and direct assistance to victims.

Many other organizations are working to deal with human trafficking and help the victims, talking about India, many such organizations are also working in India, some of which are prominent.

NGO in India

There are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in India that work to combat human trafficking and help victims of this crime. Some examples of NGOs in India focusing on human trafficking include:

प्रज्वला (Prajwala): The organization works to rescue and rehabilitate victims of sexual exploitation and trafficking, and also conducts a variety of prevention and awareness programs.

शक्ति वाहिनी : The organization works to prevent trafficking and protect the rights of women and children through legal and advocacy efforts.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan: The organization works to rescue and rehabilitate children who are victims of trafficking and slavery, and also runs a variety of prevention and awareness programs.

Bachpan Bachao Andolan is a movement in India that works for the rights and interests of children. In the year 1980, “Bachpan Bachao Andolan” was started by Kailash Satyarthi, who has so far saved more than 80 thousand innocent lives from destruction.

Maiti Nepal: The organization works to prevent the trafficking and exploitation of Nepali women and girls, and operates a number of programs including shelter and legal aid for victims.

Save the Children: The organization works to protect children from trafficking and exploitation through a range of programs including education, raising awareness and direct assistance to victims. Save the Children is one of the best NGO working for protection of child rights and child abuse in India.

There are many other NGOs in India working to combat human trafficking and assist victims, and these are just a few examples.

closing remarks

Human trafficking is the trade of human beings, usually with traffickers or others, for the purposes of sexual slavery, forced labor, or commercial sexual exploitation.

This can also include selling children, harvesting organs and other forms of exploitation. This is a serious crime and gross violation of human rights.

⚫ If you or someone you know is a victim of human trafficking, it is important to get help as soon as possible. Several laws have been enacted to assist victims of human trafficking. Also, many NGOs are working in this area whose help can be taken. [All are linked above.]

The menace of human trafficking is huge, and there is a need not only to prevent such crimes but also to ensure that the process of relief and rehabilitation goes smoothly.

There is a need for further reforms in the policies and appropriate action should be taken by various agencies and stakeholders. The right to protection against human trafficking is a constitutional right. This right needs to be protected to provide a dignified life to every child, every man and every woman in the country.

⚫ It is important to note that human trafficking is a crime that relies on the exploitation of vulnerabilities, and that traffickers often use tactics such as deception, coercion, and violence to control their victims.

It is also important to recognize that trafficking can take many forms and that individuals of any age, gender or background can be affected by this crime.

So it is expected that you must have come across the different dimensions of Human Trafficking. Don’t forget to read other related articles. And also be sure to connect with our social media handles;

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