HUMAN TRAFFICKING: THE MODERN FORM OF SLAVERY

-BY LAKSHMIPRIYA G.D

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The “highest level of discrimination against human beings” … with forced organ trade and child marriages … as well as forced prostitution and domestic works, human trafficking is considered as the illegal trade of human beings where individuals are trafficked from one country to the other for the purpose of forced labor, illegal organ transplantation, commercial sexual exploitation under several rackets. In many parts of the world, human trafficking is a high-profit and low-risk endeavor for the traffickers.

India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labor, commercial sexual exploitation and organ trade. Minor girls and women constitute about 70% of Human Trafficking cases in India over the past decade.  In many parts of the world, human trafficking is a high-profit and low-risk endeavor for the traffickers.

Internal forced labor may constitute India’s largest trafficking problem; men, women, and children in debt bondage are forced to work in industries such as brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroidery factories. Those from India’s most disadvantaged social economic strata are particularly vulnerable to forced or bonded labor and sex trafficking. Women and girls are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation. Poverty, gender-based discrimination and a history of sexual and physical violence are all factors that can make women and children vulnerable to traffickers.

In recent years, there has been an increase of sex trafficking to medium-sized cities and satellite towns of large cities. There are also victims of labor trafficking among the thousands of Indians who migrate willingly every year to the Middle East, Europe, and the United States for work as domestic servants and low-skilled laborers. In some cases, such workers are the victims of fraudulent recruitment practices committed in India that lead them directly into situations of forced labor. Men and women from Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked through India for forced labor and commercial sexual exploitation in the Middle East. Over 500 Nepalese girls were jailed in the state of Bihar on charges of using false documents to transit India in the pursuit of employment in Gulf countries. Indian nationals travel to Nepal and within the country for child sex tourism.

Trafficking of children has become an urgent matter of concern. It is a worldwide phenomenon affecting large numbers of boys and girls every day has becoma . Children and their families are often lured by the promise of better employment and a more prosperous life far from their homes. Others are kidnapped and sold. Trafficking violates a child’s right to grow up in a family environment and exposes him or her to a range of dangers, including violence and sexual abuse. Organ trafficking is yet another modern form of slavery like sexual exploitation and is still going on in various parts of the World. India was once a top destination for transplant tourists — patients from the United States and other wealthy countries who traveled here to receive kidneys because of shortages in their countries. Forced labour is yet another area of human trafficking.With increased possibilities for travelling and telecommunications, and with a growing demand for cheap labour in the developed world on the one hand, and increasingly restrictive visa regulations on the other, possible channels for legal labour migration have diminished. Private recruitment agencies, intermediaries and employers may take advantage of this situation and lure potential migrants into exploitative employment.

The Government of India does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking; however, it is making significant efforts to do so. India’s central government faces several challenges in demonstrating a more robust anti-trafficking effort: states under the Indian Constitution have the primary responsibility for law enforcement and state-level authorities are limited in their abilities to effectively confront interstate and transnational trafficking crimes; complicity in trafficking by many Indian law enforcement officials and overburdened courts impede effective prosecutions; widespread poverty continues to provide a huge source of vulnerable people; and the Indian government faces other equally pressing priorities such as basic healthcare, education, and counterterrorism. During the reporting period, the central government continued to improve coordination among a multitude of bureaucratic agencies that play a role in anti-trafficking and labor issues. Government authorities continued to rescue victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation and forced child labor. Several state governments (Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Goa, and West Bengal) demonstrated significant efforts in prosecution, protection, and prevention, although largely in the area of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Media acts as a strong tool that illuminates the problem by writing articles and presenting news stories to public against this social evil and practices or airing a segment focusing on trafficking in persons. Media not only educates the public but also shines a light on an issue typically shrouded in darkness.

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