Q.) Enumerate steps taken to prevent and combat -human trafficking. Also, explain why trafficking in person is still not eradicated in India. (10mark) (150 words)

Human trafficking is the trade of humans for forced labour, prostitution, or domestic employment. Human trafficking is caused by violence, child marriages, and fraudulent promises of marriage or work. Trafficking increased 14.3% during the previous year (NCRB). The top five states for child trafficking are West Bengal, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, and Karnataka.

Steps taken to prevent and combat human traficking

  • The Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 1956
  • The Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013 
  • Ujjawala Schemes: For searching and rescuing victims of commercial sexual exploitation, rehabilitation, reintegration, and repatriation.
  • The “Strengthening law enforcement response in India against human trafficking via training and capacity building” plan will train 10.000 police officers and set up 330 Anti Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs).
  • There’s also the POCSO Act 2012, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, the Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, and so forth.
  • India is a signatory to the UNTOC Protocol to Prevent, Suppress, and Punish Trafficking in Persons (UN Convention against Transnational Organised Crime).

Reasons why India cannot eradicate human trafficking.

  • People seek cheap labour and sex tourism.
  • India’s borders are wide. Bangladeshis and Nepalese are trafficked to the Middle East and elsewhere via India.
  • People who traffic people for prostitution make a lot of money and don’t have to deal with a lot of risk because the 1956 ITPA only makes it illegal to traffic people for that purpose.
  • The bureaucrat-politician-trafficker nexus makes trafficked people victims.

Way forward

  • Legislative reforms: The TIP Bill,2021 should address concerns about community-based rehabilitation, reintegration, and funding for survivors’ rehabilitation.
  • Keep an eye on trafficking routes, enforce cross-border legislation, and hold people accountable for their acts.
  • There are also economic and social measures that promote gender awareness and equality, as well as providing social protection and basic education.
  • Raising awareness in high-traffic areas.
  • The Justice Verma Committee’s 2013 recommendations: Amending the IPC to make it a criminal offence to traffic individuals by threat, coercion, or bribery, or to hire trafficked people. 

Human trafficking is a social issue that threatens people’s safety. So do their human rights. Strong political will is required to enforce anti-trafficking laws. The issue can be resolved if significant efforts are taken and policies are properly implemented

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