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It is a harsh truth that India is a hub for human trafficking. India is not only a hub of human traffickers of its own people but also for its neighbouring countries like Nepal and Bangladesh. Let us understand what does human trafficking mean:-

What is Human Trafficking?

Human Trafficking is the practice of forced or illegal trade of human being from one state to another for an exploitative purpose. This exploitation can be done in both ways, mentally and physically.

According to the United Nation, Human trafficking is defined as:

Human Trafficking is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, to exploit them for profit. Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world.

Human trafficking is done for-

  • Economic Purpose
  • Physical (sexual and illegal trade of organ)
  • Bonded and forced labour
  • Illegal marriages
  • Illegal content like Porn movies
  • Supplying of Prohibited chemical intoxicants like alcohol and drugs and etc.

What are the reasons behind Human Trafficking?

In every market, there is demand for a product that satisfies the customer’s needs and wants.

Similarly is the case with human trafficking, people demand humans for various work such as poor children are demanded in high-class society for domestic work on the low wage rate.

Humans are also demanded sexual work for their clients. Or they are required to donate their organs. The concept of demand and supply play a role in it, the higher the demand higher supply and vice-versa.

But, the real question is why there is demand for this immoral activity, the reason behind it lack of awareness and knowledge among people. People tend to sell humans on their own because of various factors like-

  1. Financial condition force poor people to send their children to high society for domestic work at a low wage rate at a very tender age of their life.
  2. Due to the low employment opportunity, people are forced to do on their own will immoral work.
  3. Due to the old belief and because of Patriarchy society, the girl child is forcefully married at a very early age. Because of this, the sex ratio in many villages is very indefinite, due to which the males used to bring women by giving cash to the family or we can by purchasing her.
  4. False promises to Illiterate people results in abuse of their family member. Pornography is one of them.

What is the situation of Human Trafficking in India?

It is hard to say that India is the hub of Human Trafficking in Asia, for their own citizens and international citizens, also known as international trafficking of people in India.

The northeastern part of the country like West Bengal, Uttarakhand, Assam and Meghalaya is an area from where people of other countries like Bangladesh and Nepal are trafficked in India.

Mostly in International trafficking, the ratio of women is more than men because of more sexual worker demand.

  • Sexual exploitation- 80%
  • Bonded or forced labour- 20%

Every year there is a rise in crime of 25.8% in human trafficking. Every 8 minutes a child is kidnapped for human trafficking.

According to the latest survey of 2016, Rajasthan is on the top with 1422 cases each year of human trafficking. The least state of India where cases are nil or next to zero are Jammu and Kashmir, Lakshadweep, Puducherry and Dadra and Nagar Haveli.

In 2016, the Ministry of Women and Child Development have showcase certain data related to the same crime in parliament in the year 2017.

  • On average 20 thousand women and children are kidnapped or wilfully send by their known ones to be the victim of human trafficking.
  • They also presented a report that gives us the knowledge that only 30% of the cases are recorded in the books due to which the real story remains absent or behind the picture.
    Due to this, they have made awareness among people and government officials, so that the graph should come down.

In a report of International Labour Organisation, the data shows us the bad reality of the Asia region: –

  1. According to them, 11 million people work forcefully as a labourer.
  2. 246 million children are exploited for the same.
  3. On average 7-40 lakh new people are victims of this crime.

What are the laws Relating to Human trafficking in India?

human trafficking

In India, the laws for human trafficking are covered under the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act. According to it for every type of crime related to Human trafficking the punishment was for 7 years.

But to its inadequate implementation and after the brutal gang rape in New Delhi in 2012, the act was amended and the new Criminal Law, 2013 came into existence, and for the crime of the same Sec- 370 and 370(a) of IPC, was now referred hereafter.

To refer to 370 and 370(a) click here

But even after taking all the necessary steps, the law did not work so well and still, there was a consistent increase in crime. So a new bill called Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) bill 2017 come into existence.

The government started the initiative and Specially Shree Menka Gandhi for the drafting of the bill.

Along with Menka, the Women and child department, Secretary was appointed for the same, Ministry of external affairs for international trafficking, Labour and employment, Social justice and empowerment, Panchayati raj and Health and family welfare was also appointed.

The committee decided to have strict punishment to reduce the same crime.

  • Punishment of 10 Years was decided for those who are involved in aggravated forms of trafficking.
  • A fine not less than Rs 1,00,000 was there for the wrongdoer.
  • Those who are convicted for the same once and repeat the same crime again will be punished with life imprisonment and with a fine not less than Rs 2,00,000
  • The bill also mentions punishment for those who are involved in digital trafficking like making porn movies and clicking photograph and publishing the same on the internet. The fine is the same punishment of 7years which may extend up to 10 years, and a fine which is not less than 1,00,000.

In the above-mentioned point, the term Aggravated Forms of trafficking speaks about offences in the bill as Forced labour, by using violence, intimidation, inducement, the promise of payment of money, deception or coercion.

Along with that it mentions trafficking after administering any narcotic drugs or any chemical intoxicant for false or forceful marriage.

Along with that it also includes the trafficking of begging for those who are mentally ill and pregnant.

According to the bill, the National anti-trafficking bureau will look after all the issues related to the crime.

It will coordinate, monitor, and will surveillance on people and places that are under doubt. The bureau will coordinate with the other related department and authorities for making the operation a successful one.

As the National anti-trafficking bureau is appointed on a national level, a state-level bureau called State-level anti-trafficking officers.

The state-level bureau will look into the state matters of their respective state and will try to fix it on their level.

The bill also seeks to have a relief and rehabilitation department for the victim of the crime. This committee will be headed by the women and child development secretary.


This department will help the victim to rehabilitate by giving them employment support, health benefits and also organise a counsellor for the sexually assaulted victim so that they should come out of the internal pain from which they are suffering and also can live their life again.


Hi everyone, my name is Harpreet Randhawa, a law student who believes in sharing my opinions and spreading awareness on our law system. I hope you find my writing crisp and relevant.

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