Updated: Oct 8, 2020
Human Trafficking is a market driven criminal industry in which many people are vulnerable to exploitation for the benefit of cheap labor services and commercial sex. It involves the use of force, fraud, or coercion, abduction, abuse of power over regional minority to obtain victimization and satisfaction of sexual pleasure at the cost of illegal harboring of sex workers. Every year, millions of men, women, and children are trafficked worldwide. Traffickers use coercion, deception, or false promises of well-paying jobs or fake promise of marriage to lure victims into trafficking situations. It is a serious offence against human Right in which every country is country of origin, transit or destination for victims. It consists of: Act (What is done), Means (How it is done) and Purpose (Why it is done).
In the recent judgment of Gujarat High Court in 2017, held that customer at brothel can’t be held liable for offence under Immoral Traffic ( Prevention) Act but cannot be exempted from the charge of Section 370 if proven guilty of physical exploitation beside its amendment 2012 wouldn’t be applicable if sex workers are engaged on their own choice of prostitution.
Section 370 states “whoever imports, exports removes, buys, sells or disposes of any person as a slave, or accepts receives or detains against his will any person as a slave, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine. This position of the section stood prior to section 8 of Criminal Law Amendment Act, 2013.
This law amended in 2013 with introduction of section 370A has widen the scope of exploitation which held person liable within mischief of offence including trafficking of minor and adult. Explanation 2 of section 370 states that the consent of the victim of irrelevant in the determination of the offence of trafficking. Criminalizes prostitution as exploitation, even though performed superficially underhanded and renders the already vulnerable sex worker more vulnerable to violence, exposure to HIV+ and deepens the lack of legal remedy to redress their grievances.
According to the NCRB figures, Bihar ranked third just behind Rajasthan and West Bengal in 2017 when 362 boys and 33 girls below 18 years of age were rescued from the clutches of traffickers. Out of these 395 children, 366 were put into forced labor, the NCRB report says, adding that Rajasthan topped the list in the country with 886 cases of child trafficking during the period followed by West Bengal with 450.
It is essential to prevent this exploitation of human being for commercial sex workers in order to channelize this criminal behavior of an individual with assistance in the form of providing various varieties of employment opportunities to the victim. It must take into consideration of facilities of rehabilitation, rescue team to unlock the track of vulnerable victim who were unwillingly been trapped with the highly incentive of good job, fraud on marriage. Before the implementation of the law, it become necessary for social recognition of the individual with wholeheartedly welcome of their drawbacks because it is collective consciousness of all unit which brings ultimate role of proper functioning of our structural system in respect of social, economical and political phenomena. The real objectives of the programme would be to concentrate on the areas and routes of trafficking, transit points, the role of law enforcement agencies, NGOs and others in detecting and curbing trafficking. It would also analysis the reasons for trafficking and the measures necessary for the prevention of trafficking. The initial step towards finding victim would be filing of FIR to maintain police records, media reports of missing persons, reports of the National and State Commissions for Women, the records of NGOs and those of the Border Security Force. In order to obtain the requisite information from these sources, a number of NGOs/institutions will be identified from the effected districts of the following States, namely, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Kerala, Karnataka, Goa, Pondicherry, the North-Eastern States, and the six cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Bangalore and Hyderabad. Information will also be collected from the victims of trafficking, especially from who have been rescued to those who are still in situations of exploitation, such as prostitution, bonded labor, begging, etc.
- LEGAL HUMMING
(CO-AUTHOR RIYA JAIN)