Tackling Human Trafficking
- Last month, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights warned that the Covid-19 pandemic would lead to a major increase in human trafficking.
- India’s Home Ministry responded by issuing an advisory to its state governments earlier this month, with clear instructions to set up or improve local anti-trafficking networks.
- The Ministry has written to states and Union territories to expedite the setting up of new anti-human trafficking units (AHTUs) and upgrade the infrastructure of existing ones to combat and prevent human trafficking.
What are Anti-human trafficking units ?
- The AHTUs are an integrated task force to prevent and combat the menace of human trafficking.
- Trained representatives from the police, department of women and child development, other relevant departments and renowned non-government organisations are part of the unit which was first established in 2007.
A Glance at the scale and magnitude of Human Trafficking
- According to International labour organisation’s data of 2019, around 21 million people globally were prone to modern slavery out of which 68% people were forced labour, 22% were used for sex trafficking and around 10% were prone to state imposed enforced labour.
- In reality around 50-60 million people are prone to the menace of trafficking but there are no real records as well as it is prone to seasonal variations.
- Though the magnitude of sex trafficking has declined but still poor and economic backward people become victims of such crime.
- Human trafficking is a organised crime and there is no country in the world which is bereft of this crime as well as there is no single age group which is not the part and parcel of trafficking.
- There is no action taken on this part so far even though we have various legal frameworks like IPC, Juvenile justice act, Bonded labour act, UAPA etc. but no syndicate has been identified and the advanced intelligence has proved to be a failure.
- Eg: Fake NGOs and shelter homes issue in Uttar Pradesh.
- As far as India is concerned, it is highly prone to this organised crime because of its international borders as well as its spear head location near to Golden quadrilateral.
- The highest degree of trafficking is in the organ donation and even the most prosperous countries are also victims of such crime.
- Eg: USA, Canada etc are highly prone to sex trafficking as well as forced labour.
What are the reasons or factors behind the raising of such crime?
- There are certain pull as well as push factors due to which millions of people are becoming victims of it and they are as follows :
- Poverty: Due to the poverty level which is currently prevailing in various countries leads to rise in such crimes because traffickers generate confidence in these people about the money, facilities etc. but real situations may be different.
- Lack of micro-credit: There is very less facility for availability of credit in certain remote areas which leads to a situation where forced labour, sex trafficking, bonded labours comes into picture for the sake of money as well as livelihood.
- The greedy thought which is provided by traffickers to the people especially to the poor families makes them sell their children because the revenue generated out of trafficking is around 150 billion dollars.
- The widow women and uneducated girls are more susceptible to such crime because being part of a large family forces them to become victims of this menace.
What are the major challenges faced while addressing the issue ?
(i) The major challenge lies with the media because in recent times the media is interested in just getting its TRP ahead instead of showing such crimes.
(ii) Due to the uprise in technology, the traffickers have got the various pathways to fulfill their trafficking agenda.
(iii) There are various covert methods which are used by traffickers to pressurise people and roots of such methods are not known.
(iv) There are issues surrounding Law enforcement in the country which is not completely delineated towards controlling such crimes.
What needs to be done ahead ?
- The first and foremost thing is there is a need to create coordination among various law enforcement agencies, departments, police, NGOs etc which may create an atmosphere of being more attentive as well as responsible towards the issue.
- The national directory on trafficking is the need of the hour.
- The Information sharing between various departments and agencies should be made more feasible.
- There is a need to improve internal vigilance of police and law enforcement agencies through correction of intelligence services.
- An effort should be made in identifying the source as well as the origin countries to resolve the issue.
- The upgradation of Anti-human trafficking units (AHTUs) can help for controlling the issue to a greater level.
- The economic disparity in various countries has led to rise in such issues and the fundamental justice delivery system is not to the extent which makes us realise that organised crime needs an organised approach.
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