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Human Trafficking And Its Effect Against Humanity (By-Neelanksha Bhatia)

Human Trafficking And Its Effect Against Humanity


Authored By-Neelanksha Bhatia

Christ Deemed to be university





Human Trafficking has emerged as a major issue and is so widespread that no country is untouched by it. Human trafficking is widely regarded as the world's second largest criminal sector and a fast-growing form of transnational organised crime, which is appropriately addressed under the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime and its Supplementary Protocols. Indeed, it is a rapidly expanding black market economy that affects every country on the planet, no country is immune to this criminal enterprise. It has an impact on communities on a micro and macro level, whether they are in nations of origin, transit, or destination. In India, over 900 human trafficking cases were reported in 2020, with over 3000 victims. More than 150 human trafficking cases were reported in Maharashtra, the state with the highest number.















Human Trafficking



Human trafficking is the illegal act of moving people from one country to another for either sexual favours, prostitution, forced labour, organ trafficking or slavery. People who do not have a personal identity card or a valid travel document are usually victims of human trafficking. International law enforcement authorities have recently identified sexual abuse as the most common technique of people trafficking. In the recent decade, sexual exploitation accounted for about 80% of all occurrences around the world, with the other 20% considered to represent other forms of forced labour. Adult and adolescent males may also be compelled to undertake illicit works, solicit for money, be used as sexual objects, participate in Satanist rituals, give organs, or join militant groups in a small percentage of cases. It was even cleared through the judgment in the case of Raj Bahadur v. State of W.B. in 1953 that human trafficking means dealing in men and women like goods, such as by selling or letting, or otherwise disposing of them. Among these is the trafficking of women and children for immoral or other purposes.


A Look at Human Trafficking in India

Despite being the largest democracy in the world, India is plagued by widespread poverty and a lack of education, which result in a number of violations of human rights, especially for women. Thomson Reuters Foundation surveyed 548 experts for a poll that included questions about healthcare, discrimination, cultural traditions, sexual and non-sexual violence, and human trafficking. India was named "the world's most dangerous country for women" last year, ahead of Afghanistan, Syria, and Saudi Arabia. Not only on women but also on teenagers, infants where some of them are send for labour, some are enrolled in prostitution and some are used for organ donation. In 2016, 8,132 cases of human trafficking were registered in India under the Indian Penal Code, 1860, according to the National Crime Records Bureau. The majority of these people were trafficked for forced labour (45.5%), followed by prostitution (23.5%).

Legal Framework in India


  • In the constitution of India, Article 23(1) prohibits trafficking in human beings, which is a punishable offence according to the law.
  • Article 39: Article 39(e) of the Directive Principle of State Policy (DPSP) states that children under the age of eighteen should not be forced to work, and it prevents men and women from abusing their health and strength by being forced to work in occupations that are unsuitable for their age and strength due to economic necessity. Article 39(f) specifies further safeguards for children and adolescents against exploitation, moral and material abandonment.


  • Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013: Section 370 of Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been replaced with new Sections 370 and 370A. It is concerned with human trafficking for the purpose of exploitation. The amendment states that anyone who (a) recruits, (b) transports, (c) harbours, (d) transfers, or (e) receives a person through threats, force, coercion, abduction, fraud, or deception, or abuse of power, or inducement for exploitation such as prostitution, slavery, or forced organ removal, will be punished.
  • Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act 1956 (amended in 1986) outlines punishments for prostitution and child trafficking, which are both crimes in this act.
  • The Indian Penal Code states, in Section 370, that anyone who uses force or threats to recruit, transport, transfer, or receive a person or persons for the purpose of exploitation is considered to have committed the crime of trafficking. Those who commits the offence of trafficking will be punished with rigorous punishment for at least 7 years and fined as well.

These provisions, however, have not been of much help since most trafficking takes place with the connivance of vulnerable victims, so it is not reported. In this regard, NGOs have been the only one's alert to attempts at trafficking, and with the help of law enforcement agencies have prevented trafficking and attempts at trafficking in various instances.

There are other specific laws that deal with human trafficking. Among them are:


  1. Child Labour Act, 1986
  2. Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994
  3. Indian Penal Code, 1860
  4. Juvenile Justice Act, 2000
  5. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act, 2012


Judicial Pronouncement:


  1. Geeta Kancha Tamang vs State of Maharashtra Criminal Appeal 858 of 2009


This case involves the Applicant, who claims to be a brothel owner, is accused of trafficking of a child. She was convicted, among other things, under Section 6 of the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1956, for detaining a juvenile in the brothel she owns and for detaining her for commercial intercourse with people. According to the impugned ruling, during a police raid, a little kid has alleged that she was jailed and ill-treated by the accused after being transferred from her hometown of Nanded to the accused. Several more girls had been rescued beside her. Following the rescue of multiple girls in the operation, the prosecution has built a case of child trafficking.

 According to the Applicant, she is also a parent to two minor children. Her claim is, however, unsubstantiated. A mother of two minor children has been found guilty of a crime involving the use of minor children for the purpose of prostitution. It was found that the applicant was guilty after a trial. She has been in detention since September 8, 2008, and has thus far served a 14-month sentence.

The first consideration for the Court in such a horrific crime is that human trafficking is outlawed under Article 23 of the Indian Constitution. As a result, it is every Indian citizen's fundamental right to be free of human trafficking. Such an act represents the most heinous violation of human rights.

Vishal Jeet v. Union of India, 1990, 3 SCC 318


The causes and evil effects of prostitution maligning society are so notorious and frightful that no one can deny them. In the prime of youth, many poverty-stricken children and girls are forced into the 'flesh trade' and taken to 'flesh markets'. In this context, the Court issued the following directives:


    • State and union territory governments should direct their law-enforcing authorities in eradicating child prostitution to take appropriate and prompt action.
    • Separate Advisory Committees in each of the states and union territories should be formed to make recommendations regarding the measures to be taken and the social welfare programs to be implemented for the children and girls rescued from prostitution.
    • The governments of all states, as well as the governments of union territories, should provide rehabilitative homes manned by social workers, psychiatrists, and doctors who are well-trained and qualified.
    • In order to ensure proper implementation of the suggestions made by the respective committees, the government of the states and union territories should devise a mechanism of their own.



“Human trafficking is a crime against humanity. We must unite our efforts to free the victims and stop this increasingly aggressive crime which threatens not only individual but the basic values of society and of international security and justice, to say nothing of the                                                                    economy, and the fabric of the family and our coexistence. -Pope Francis





Human trafficking is a threat to humanity that must be eradicated. The people trafficking business is a huge global criminal enterprise that has embedded itself in legitimate businesses. No government or agency has the authority or resources to deal with them on its own. It will take global coordination to develop a successful plan based on trends. These crimes may be stopped through exchanging information, good communication, intelligence sharing, and pooling vital resources both worldwide and inside our governments.

Various initiatives have been launched by the Indian government to protect them and humanity, such as the NHRC (National Human Rights Commission), SHRC (State Human Rights Commission), National Commission for Women, SC & ST. It has unquestionably saved their lives and that of humanity.

There is a huge threat of human trafficking, and we must ensure that relief and rehabilitation is conducted in a smooth manner not just to prevent such crimes, but also as a means ofrehabilitation. The policies must be further improved, and appropriate actions should be taken by various agencies and stakeholders. Everyone has the right to be protected from human trafficking. All children, men and women in the country should have this right protected so that they can live dignified lives.1




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