Human trafficking is the third largest type of organized crime after drugs and the arms trade across the globe. According to the definition of the United Nations – “trafficking is any activity leading to recruitment, transportation, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or a position of vulnerability”. It forces the victims in the environment of extreme exploitation involving sexual act, forced labor, slavery.
In India, according to the National Crime Records Bureau, West Bengal is the hub for human trafficking followed by Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra. According to the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the vast majority of the victims in India are females, either adults or underage girls (under the age of 18). The trafficking of males accounts for about 17 percent of the total number of victims, slightly lower than the global average. This hints that women are more prone to human trafficking in India relative to the rest of the world’s average.
Mainly the victims face unfavorable living condition which makes them vulnerable to human traffickers. Most of the victims who fall prey are escaping domestic violence, are desperate for a job, desperate for materialistic luxuries, wanting to escape from a current family situation or escaping poverty due to natural disasters. Traffickers operate around the world, in every airport, bus terminal, and train station. They often harbor complete control over their victims, holding their passports closely and advising them to avoid eye contact and conversation with anyone. Victims are often too afraid to ask for help, and may even deny needing it when confronted. It is not only system/government who is responsible for providing safety and opportunities or we can say solutions to above-mentioned situations/problems but we, the people also have to contribute our share which will automatically have a positive and a long-lasting impact on their lives and reduce human trafficking. To do so, we have to first understand how it works..
How exactly does Human Trafficking work?
Although the entire network is controlled by a chief, there are some key players at the lower level (which the victims can point out). These people play a vital role and are the backbone of the system.
1. Spotters: Somebody from community/ Marriage brokers etc. These observe the situation (one of the of the above mentioned) of the victims.
2. Procurers: Someone related to the victim or an acquaintance which can lire the victim.
3. Transporters: Cabs/Auto drivers who are in charge of transporting the victim
4. Organizers: These are the middlemen facilitate transactions.
5. Brokers: These are in charge of contacting and transiting with the clients
6. Clients: These are the final customers
What can we do?
1. Foster the spread of education: India has consistently spent around 3%-4% of GDO on education-much less than its peers. We should invest more in education as it empowers people giving them opportunities which would shield them from human traffickers.
2. Spread awareness among communities: Lack of awareness creates situations that traffickers can exploit. People aware of their rights, opportunities for their growth and employment, then fewer people would fell prey to traffickers. This is the part where we can make a big difference. Social media is an effective tool available in our hands and must be used to increase awareness about the issue the Indian youth. We often encounter people who could be beneficiaries in some government schemes but are unaware of it themselves. The onus is on us to educate them about the schemes and make a difference.
3. Laws in order to fortify the citizens: The laws relevant to human trafficking are not efficient and have failed to curb the menace. The Union minister for women and child development, Maneka Gandhi, introduced the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in Parliament on July 18, 2018. The Bill was passed in Lok Sabha on July 26, 2018, and is yet to be passed by the upper house of the parliament. The Bill also has a provision of creating a nodal agency to oversee the progress.
4. United way forward: Any effort to abate human trafficking has had little success. More than 80000 cases of human trafficking were reported in India in 2016, while 23000 victims were rescued in that time. There are NGOs diligently working and helping the victims and creating awareness among rural/tribal areas. Even though government support is vital for a sustainable impact on this highly organized world, volunteering and supporting such institutions by us is of paramount importance. Human trafficking is a borderless crime and disputes between nations/states should not be a hindrance in eliminating such organizations.
The Anti-trafficking bill introduced is prosecution-driven; raid-rescue-rehabilitation. The bill will definitely steer the boat in the right direction. However just as observed in the success India had in eradicating Polio, homogenous participation of government and the youth is needed to make sure only the prosperity culture and growth are handed down to the future generations. Share your views/ideas on this...Thank You.