Dimensions of Human Trafficking - Daily Current Affair Article

Why in News?

In the recent controversy over human trafficking and bonded labor in Punjab, the Hon'ble Supreme Court has defined bonded labor.


  • Recently a dispute has arisen in the matter of human trafficking and bonded labor. An advisory given by the Ministry of Home Affairs related to human trafficking in the border areas of Punjab.
  • In the context of this advisory, a rumor was born that the Ministry of Home Affairs has held the farmers of Punjab responsible for human trafficking, although the Ministry of Home Affairs give an explanation on this issue.
  • In the same dispute, the Supreme Court said that forced labor to pay less than the required salary is bonded labor.

Human Trafficking: An Introduction: -

  • Human trafficking is the process of trapping people through violence, deception, or coercion and exploiting them for financial or personal gain.
  • In trafficking girls are forced to sexually exploit. At the same time, individuals are forced to accept a risky work offer and work in construction sites, farms or factories. Women are recruited to work in private homes. This is a common problem in the border regions of India.
  • Sexual exploitation, forced labor, promotion of begging, crime (such as increasing cannabis or dealing with drugs), domestic slavery, marriage or organ removal, etc. are the results of human trafficking.

Miscellaneous facts of human trafficking: -

  • As estimated by the United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC) The most trafficked sections are women. 51% of trafficking victims in the world are women. 28% of children and 21% of men are victims of human trafficking.
  • While smuggling comprises 63% of males and 37% of females. 72% of the women exploited in the sex industry are women. 43% of the victims are within national boundaries.

Constitutional and legislative provisions related to human trafficking in India

  • Article 21 of the Indian Constitution pays attention to the concept of a dignified life.
  • Under Article 23 (1) of the Indian Constitution, human transport prohibits labor and trafficking in persons.
  • The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the principal legislation for the prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
  • The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013 replaces Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code with Sections 370 and 370A IPC, which provides comprehensive measures to prevent human trafficking.
  • Other specific laws related to trafficking in women and children are the Child Marriage Prohibition Act, 2006, Bonded Labor System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Violation of Human Organization Act, 1994.
  • State governments have also enacted specific laws to deal with this issue. (Example Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012)
  • The Government of India is working on a plan to fight human trafficking through four 'P' models Prosecution (Prosecution), Protection (Prevention), Prevention (Prevention), and Partnership (Participation).

Measures are taken to diagnose human trafficking by the Government of India: -

To tackle the menace of human trafficking, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India has taken several measures:

Administrative measures

Anti Trafficking Cell (ATC):

  • An Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cell was set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) of the Central Government (CS Division in 2006) to communicate various decisions and follow the action taken by the State Governments.
  • Ministry of Home Affairs conducts coordination meetings with the Nodal Officers of designated anti-human trafficking units in all the States / Union Territories to solve the problem of human trafficking.

Steps of Home Ministry

  • To improve effectiveness to combat the crime of human trafficking and increase accountability of law enforcement machinery, the Ministry of Home Affairs has issued comprehensive advisory to all states / UTs. These advisories / SOPs are available on the web portal of the Ministry of Home Affairs at Anti Human Trafficking www. stophuman traffickingmha.nic.in.
  • As part of a comprehensive scheme, the Ministry of Home Affairs has released funds for setting up anti-human trafficking units in 270 districts of the country in response to the law enforcement against trafficking of persons through training and capacity building in India.

Strengthening Capacity Building:

  • To enhance the capacity building of law enforcement agencies and create awareness among them, police officers are trained at the regional level, state level, and district level civil officers.

Judicial work:

  • To train and sensitize the judicial officers of the trial court, human trafficking involves judicial colloquial hearings at the High Court level. The objective is to sensitize the judicial authorities about various issues related to human trafficking and ensure speedy court proceedings.
  • So far, eleven judicial colloquies have been held in Chandigarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, and Odisha.

How has India implemented international conventions on Human Trafficking?

United Nations Convention:

  • India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC) as the prevention, suppression, and punishment of trafficking, particularly in women and children.
  • To enforce the Convention and various actions have been taken following the Protocol, a LawCriminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 has been enacted which specifically defines human trafficking.

SAARC Convention:

  • India has ratified the SAARC Convention on the Prevention and Combination of Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. A regional task force was formed to implement the SAARC Conference.

Bilateral Agreements:

  • To tackle various issues related to cross-border smuggling and prevention of smuggling, identification, and repatriation of prey and to make the process between India and Bangladesh quick and victim-friendly, A task force was formed.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on bilateral cooperation for the prevention of human trafficking in women and children between India and Bangladesh, rescue, recovery, repatriation, and reintegration of victims of trafficking was signed in June 2015.

The way forward: -

  • The main problem of human trafficking here is that in this human being is treated like a commodity and it causes human dignity to be violated. Its practice in a democratic country like India gives a negative message.
  • To solve this problem, it is necessary that the concept of socioeconomic and political justice described in the Preamble of India be ensured soon.
General Studies Papers 2 and 3
  • Social Justice and Internal Security
  • Welfare schemes for the most sensitive sections of the population by the Center and the states and the performance of these schemes; Mechanisms, laws, institutions, and bodies set up for the protection and betterment of these very sensitive sections.
  • Role of anti-governance elements posing a challenge to internal security.
  • Security Challenges and Their Management in Border Areas - Relationship between Organized Crime and Terrorism.

Mains Question:-

  • India has made unprecedented efforts at the international and national level to curb human trafficking, but is it still present in India? Critically analyze the statement?