Emerging Dimensions Of Human Trafficking

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The new Dimensions Of Human Trafficking

Written By: Khwahish Khurana

Introduction

It is rightly said that “Poverty is the mother of all crimes”. The pressure of fulfilling basic needs, coping up with society, raising or supporting family almost drains a person emotionally. Due to this, some parents or guardians knowingly sell their kids or women for money. Sometimes parents, being uneducated and unaware, send their children to people who guarantee jobs in urban areas with high salaries. These kids or women are trafficked which gives rise to human trafficking. These kids then become victims of prostitution, slavery, child labor, etc.

The Fastest Growing Crime In The World – Human Trafficking

Human trafficking means abducting or inducing a human and putting him into work which includes sexual exploitation or forced labor through a means of fraud, force, or coercion. It is the fastest growing crime in the world due to many possible reasons including poverty, lack of education and job opportunities, etc. It includes a chain of people as there is no supply without demand. Children or young women are trafficked from village areas and sent to towns to dealers who then sell these kids or women further to the people who would give lakhs of rupees in exchange. Young women or girl children are forced into prostitution.

They are drugged to be able to handle more clients per day. After some time, such girls or women become habitual and it becomes difficult for them to get out of the business. Additionally, this becomes a source of easy money for them as they lack the skills and education to get into any other job. Even when some NGOs try to help such girls or women, they refuse to accept the help as they are threatened to be killed or are threatened that their families would be killed. They never accept the fact that they were forced into this business. The trafficking is not only limited to prostitution. These children are also put into Child begging, child labor, slavery, etc. Such children never meet or see their families again and when their families get to know about the situation, it already becomes too late.

Anti Trafficking Laws In India  

The Constitution of India provides six fundamental rights to every citizen. Out of the six fundamental rights, the right against exploitation is provided in Articles 23 and 24. Article 23 (1), expressly states that “ Traffic in human beings and the beggar and other similar forms of forced labor are prohibited and any contravention of this provision shall be an offense punishable in accordance with law”. This article prohibits the selling and buying of men, women, and children like goods, immoral traffic in women and children including prostitution, and the devadasis system. The Devadasis system was an old Hindu practice in which people would sacrifice women in the name of god. ‘Begar’ is also prohibited under article 23 which means and includes ‘forced labor’ or such labor which is forced to do work without any remuneration.

The term ‘forced labor’ also includes bonded labor i.e such labor who work their whole life for the lender to repay a loan they or their family member took in the past. Bonded Labour System Act 1976, Minimum Wages Act 1948, Contract Labour Act 1970, and Equal remuneration act 1976, were introduced by the government to curb such practices.  In Deena v. Union of India, 1983 it was held that if a prisoner is forced to do labor without any remuneration, it would come under forced labor which is against article 23 of the constitution of India. Article 24 of the Indian constitution deals with the prohibition of the employment of children in factories. The families who are below the poverty line often send their kids to factories to earn.

The lawmakers, to curb this practice included article 24 as a basic right wherein it states that children below the age of 14 should not be put to work. Many children work in hazardous industries which impact their physical health like loss of eyesight, lung or respiratory diseases, malnutrition, becoming drug addicts, etc. Additionally, it is very crucial for children to be well educated. Article 24 does not prohibit the working of children in just and innocent conditions which is why we see a lot of child actors on television who are being paid for acting. In this regard, the child labor (prohibition and regulation) act, 1986 was made by the parliament.

Conclusion

Human trafficking is the fastest-growing crime not only in India but worldwide. Human trafficking gives rise to other forms of racketeering. These include child begging, fraudulent marriages, prostitution, child labor, slavery, etc. A lot of these rackets are existing smoothly because they are in the knowledge of the police who in return take money from such racketeers. There are certain acts made by the lawmakers for the protection of such humans and NGOs which are constantly working towards rescuing them but this whole situation can be controlled only when people are educated and there are enough job opportunities in the country for them so that they have a means of earning and won’t have to indulge themselves or their families into illegal businesses.

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