Posted on: September 5, 2020 Posted by: admin Comments: 0

Author : Siddhi Gupta, Student at Symbiosis Law School, Hyderabad


An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and in today`s era we find human slavery as a sickening reality which is a difficult crime to detect and prevent. The term “traffic in human beings”, implies the selling and buying of human beings for immoral and other purposes. Crime prevention has become an increasing important issue to ensure public safety and security. This in turn has led to a great threat to the human dignity and security.

India has a doubtful distinction of being receiving, sending and transit country with a fair amount of human trafficking cases. It is a global phenomenon being practiced from long back as it is only modern – day slavery and this is a lucrative industry with illegal financial profit as its primary source of motivation. Trafficking process involves physical, sexual abuse as well as psychological and emotional trauma being faced and suffered by the victim. The major preys of these human traffickers are the people who are impoverished, isolated and the weaker section of the society. The impact of this trade in the society is massive destructive and unacceptable which not only effects the victim`s life but also upshots the whole society. The violence experienced by the victim, unfavorable health effects, social stigmatization being experienced by them and a high degree of risk of being victimized.

The ongoing practice to combat the practice of human trafficking is analyzed in this paper to understand why human trafficking is a growing phenomenon. Trafficking preys on vulnerable and voiceless, thus crime prevention and reduction of vulnerability are the most appropriate approaches to combat the issue and prevention of human trafficking. Anti – trafficking strategies have been enshrined in every policy area to encounter the rate of crime.

Migration is an inseparable element of human history and its civilization. Although, many years have passed since the abolition of slavery but still the number of modern – day slave victims are when compared to the one which prevailed before the abolition of slavery. The phenomenon of human trafficking has not been introduced specifically to the community in which we are living but is been prevalent since long back in history and affecting the development of the humanity. It has become bane of modern society today. The major purpose of trafficking is sexual slavery, commercial sexual exploitation, forced labor, domestic violence, extraction of organs and tissues, forced marriages. Traffickers target those individuals who are more vulnerable and can be easily exploited. To deal with such crimes the United Nations had initiated a “Convention against transnational organized crimes” (UNTOC). The paper also seeks to study the laws related to this crime in India as well as with respect to international conventions. Trafficking industry has been identified as fastest growing criminal industry in the world. According to the Walk Free Foundation Global Slavery Index 2014, India is home to around 14 million victims of human trafficking, including victims of sex trafficking, bonded labour, child labour, domestic servitude and forced marriage.[1] Traffickers are motivated from the high profits and the low risk due to weak law enforcement and leneant policies regarding the crimes.

KEYWORDS: Modern – day slavery, victims, prevention, vulnerable groups, antitrafficking strategies, exploitation.


– Martin Luther King, Jnr.


The word trafficking signifies illegal and human trafficking means caring out trade of humans. There are several reasons why humans are trafficked such as sexual slavery, forced marriage, forced labor, extraction of organs and tissues for the sale purpose and many more. Across the world human trafficking is third largest organized followed by drug trafficking and arm trafficking. The trade in this industry is increasing day by day and is also recognized as the fastest growing criminal sector. The major vulnerability factors for the growth of human trafficking are: poverty, economic unstableness of certain class of people, culturally sanctions, inequality in the framework, gender violence, organ trafficking, bonded labor etc. Women and girls are trafficked especially in those areas where the sex ratio is highly skewed in the favor of men.[2] Lack of education, corruption, political unstableness, weak and leneant legal system of India are some of the few reasons as to why this organized crime is increasing.

The author feels that the main reason behind the human being trafficked in high numbers is due to the migration of men to the commercial cities and then this gives arise to the commercial sex. Further in order to meet the demand of the commercial sex across the world, women and girls belonging to poor and weak families are traded and exploited.[3] There are several international as well as national conventions for the prevention of human trafficking to safe guard weak section of people from being exploited. The author believes that the laws and the legal provisions existing in India should be more strengthened in order to achieve the aim of prevention of human trafficking in India. The legal system of India must take special measures to educate and make poor and weak people aware about the organized crime happening around the globe and also make them educate about the preventive measures from becoming a victim of it.


Majorly there are two types of factors which are affecting the cause of human trafficking they are as follows[4]

  • PULL FACTOR: This factor includes the employment opportunities which are being offered in the urban areas for easy income, fake promises and for better standard of living, also the misconception of the people behind the sexual intercourse of men would lead to cure and reduction of contacting to HIV virus and AIDS also Impotency.
  • PUSH FACTOR: This factor includes the weak socio – economic conditions of many families who are also undergoing poverty problem are vulnerable to this organized crime.[5] Also, one of the main reason behind the growth of this illegal trade is natural calamities and disasters which leads to destitution of many individuals. Absence of the awareness about the consequences of trafficking, domestic exploitation of women and girl child,[6] lack of literacy are other factors affecting.

There are various crimes which are prevalent in India and are related to human trafficking.[7]

They can be categorized as follows –

  • Section 366 B of IPC deals with the punishment of crime of importation of girls from foreign country”.

The provision talks about the punishment awarded for the crime is imprisonment which may extend to ten long years or fine for a person who imports a girl of under twenty – one year of age from any other foreign country or any part of J&K into India.

  • Section 366 A of IPC deals with the punishment of crime of Procuration of minor girls”.

The provision talks about the punishment awarded for the imprisonment which may extend to ten long years or fine for a person who forces a girl who is below the age of eighteen years for having illicit intercourse with any other person.

  • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956.
  • Human trafficking section 370 & 370A Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • Section 372 of the Code deals with the punishment of crime of selling of minors for the purpose of prostitution”.
  • “Section 373 of IPC deals with the punishment of crime of buying of minors for the purpose of prostitution”

The above mentioned are the heads of crimes which falls under the ambit of third largest organized crime i.e., Human trafficking in India.

Legal frame work to combat human trafficking in India includes the following:

  • Indian Penal Code, 1860.
  • Constitution of India, 1949.
  • The Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000.
  • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure and in today`s era we find human slavery as sickening reality which is difficult crime to detect and prevent.[8] There are various measures which can be adopted and have been adopted in India for the prevention of human trafficking.

The author can broadly classify these measures under few heads:

  • Measures adopted on the borders of the nation.

The states should implement more stringent and strengthening policies which makes difficult for the traffickers to move across border and it has been critically studied that the border controls haven been reducing day by day. This leads to permeability of borders for the criminal groups and organizations for easy trafficking of humans with the region. The proper system of social accountability and secured vigilance is the need of the hour for combating human trafficking.

  • Measures regarding the economic and social policies and strategies.

The basic reason behind the growth of the practice of human trading is the migration of the people in search of the better employment opportunities which are available cross border and few make fake promises and attract weaker section claiming for providing better living standard. There is an urgent need to take measures and provide awareness along with the employment opportunities to the vulnerable people who are trapped by the trafficker and are exploited. Also, the encouragement of issue of gender sensitization and educating masses about the consequences of the act can help in preventing the violence and exploitation of women and children of the nation.

  • Measures with regard to Awareness amongst the most vulnerable section.

Various government organizations, NGO`s and other public officials play a very crucial role in educating masses and creating awareness in the minds of people who are under privileged.[9] They can create awareness by organizing several awareness programs amongst the lower and weaker section of society who are uneducated and have less means of attaining education.[10] Also by putting up of advertisements in the hover boards stating the public alert of being victimized can act as a helping hand in the fight for prevention of trade of humans.

  • Legislative measures for combating human trafficking.

There should be an immediate adoption of the strengthened and strict legislative policies, adoption of educational, cultural and social measures wherever required, demolition of corruption amongst the public officials also discouragement of all the practices which helps in fostering the exploitation especially amongst the children and women which indirectly and directly leads to trafficking of humans.[11]


The strengthening of the legislations and laws is the need of an hour for meeting the conditions which need to be fulfilled in order to prevent trafficking of humans. The practice of this growing organized crime is jeopardizing the integrity and dignity of trafficked victims and also leading to violation of human rights. As it is guaranteed by the law of the land that every citizen posses equal rights and opportunities whether its men or women.[12] But when the question of implementation comes around all the written laws fail at the time of practical implementation and safeguarding the rights of the humans.

In order to combat the trade of humans the basic requirement is to have a strong political will of the government and effective implementation of the legislations safeguarding it. Mostly the victims of the crime are uneducated and belong to weaker section of society, the author feels that the government should come up with certain policies and programs which protect these individuals from exploitation along with certain educational and employment opportunity so that, the growth of organized crime could be reduced and these vulnerable groups could be protected from being traded and exploited.[13] The researcher feels that if the appropriate steps are not taken by the government within the limited time frame then it will be too late to resolve this problem of trade which is rapidly growing across the globe.


[1] Vimal Vidushy, Human Trafficking in India, International Journal of Applied Research, 2016.

[2] Ambalika Sinha, Human Trafficking in India: Theoretical perspectives with special reference to Human Trafficking scenarios in the North Eastern parts of India, International Journal of Research and Social Sciences.

[3]Vimal Vidushy, Human Trafficking in India, International Journal of Applied Research, 2016.

[4] Human Trafficking the Fact, Global Initiative to Fight Human Trafficking, 2008, 1-2.

[5] “India”. Trafficking in Persons Report 2008. U.S. Department of State, 2008.

[6] Tripathi.S.C & Vibha Arora, Law Relating To Women And Children 407 (6TH ed. 2015).

[7] Neeta Lal, India cracks down on Human Trafficking, (

[8] Sanjoy Roy, Human Rights and Trafficking in Women and Children in India, Journal of Historical Archaeology & Anthropological Sciences, 2017.

[9] Nandita Deb, A Study of Global Human Trafficking- A menace in the way of women empowerment, International Journal of Social Science.

[10] Sadika Hameed, Human trafficking in India, Dynamics Current Efforts and Intervention, March 12, 2010.

[11] Monika.D.Banode, Comparative Human Trafficking Law, IJLLJS, Mar 30, 2015.

[12] J.N. Pandey, Constitutional Law of India, 77 (52nd Ed 2015).

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