This article was written by Shrevina Bhosle, a student of Government Law College, Mumbai.
Lying on a hospital bed with a wounded head, an Indian teenager recollects her horrific journey of what her employer put her through.
“She would violently pull my hair out and beat me with brooms, belts and chair, whenever she got angry,” the teenager told a newspaper, as she is recovering in a hospital at New Delhi.
The girl says that she was locked in the house and was made to work as a maid in an opulent neighbourhood in the capital city.
In a country like India, which comprises of almost more than the entire slave population of the world, this is a very known case. An estimate stated that millions of people in India are victims of forced slavery.
This is just one of the forms of human trafficking.
As stated in Section 369 of the Indian Penal Code,
Human trafficking is a broad term which refers to transportation, recruitment, harbouring, transferring, exploitation or receiving of any person for such purpose by using threat, force, abduction, fraud or deception, by abuse of power or by inducement.
The expression, “exploitation” refers to any such act of physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, enslavement or forced removal of the organs. The consent of the victim is inconsequential in the determination of the offense of trafficking. Human trafficking is one of the crimes after drugs and arms in the world at large. Estimation shows that almost 80% of human trafficking is done either for the purpose of sexual exploitation or enslavement. Approximately, only 30% of the cases are reported.
Constituents of Human Trafficking
On the explanation of the above definition of human trafficking, it is discernible that there are three elements of human trafficking and they are as under:
WHAT IS DONE ( ACT )
Transportation, recruitment, harbouring, transferring, exploitation or receiving of any persons.
HOW IS IT DONE ( MODE )
By way of using threat, force, abduction, fraud or deception, by abuse of power or by inducement.
WHY IS IT DONE ( MOTIVE )
For the motive or purpose of exploiting persons by way of physical exploitation or sexual exploitation, bondage, enslavement, any such similar slavery or the forced removal of the organs.
TYPES OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING
There exists different types or forms of human trafficking but the worldwide forms of human trafficking are listed as following:
Trafficking of women for sexual abuse:
Women are largely targeted widespread for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Not only women, but even children are exposed to the abuse. They are lured into promises of an employment and are assured better lifestyle but are deported to other countries where they are sold off and are forced into enslavement in miserable conditions. Even if some women manage to run out of such conditions, many cases are not reported.
In one such case, State Of Gujarat vs Bai Radha W/O. Natwarlal, it was found out that the accused, Bai Radha living in the village of Saijpur Bogha would bring girls from outside the country and would run a brothel in her house using those girls. Through a police investigation, it was found that she was not the only one involved in this, she along with a racket were involved in the trafficking of women. There exist many such matters in rural parts of the country where women are still exploited for the purpose of physical needs.
Similarly, in Pramod Bhagwan Nayak vs State of Gujarat, the accused was involved in bringing teenage girls and women from other cities to Surat and would supply them to customers in exchange for monetary means. Not only this, he would also provide the willing customers with rooms for the said purpose of prostitution.
Trafficking for contrived labour:
Children and teenagers are often promised decent jobs and are then recruited to different countries where they are made to work for long hours and are either paid very minimum or are not paid at all. They are often pushed into agriculture, construction and domestic labour. They are made to cut contacts with their families so there are no chances of them running from the miserable conditions. Children and women are often beaten at the hands of their employer if they fail to deliver the services they asked to perform.
Materialistic exploitation of children in tourism:
This type of crime exists in the countries of Africa and Asia. The crime is promoted by lowering the cost of air travelling and no stringent law for maintain sexual relationship with minors.
Trafficking of people for forced removal of organs:
Human trafficking for the purpose of organs is a wildly growing activity. Trafficking of organs, especially the human kidneys is a worldwide criminal activity which is rapidly growing. People are ready to pay a fortune for organs in the black market and so are the desperate patients who are in need to such organs. The wide demand – supply gap has paved a way for the trafficking of organs. There are several rackets across India who are involved in such trafficking.
One such racket in the past, Gurgaon Racket for Kidney of 2008, wherein kidneys were forcefully removed from the poor people and supplied to the desperate rich patients who were ready to pay for such organs for their transplants. The underprivileged people were lured into the scam with false promises and documentation.
The case of human trafficking is not just conspicuous in India. In the United States, human trafficking occurs with huge immigrant population consisting of population mainly from Texas and California. On estimation, around 14,500- 17,500 people are trafficked into the U.S every year, which comprise of minors, teenagers, men and women. Migrants are trafficked into the country for the purpose of sex, domestic servitude and agriculture and construction purposes. The laws against trafficking exist at all federal and community levels. The US Government has even set up a hotline that is National Human Trafficking Resource Centre Hotline (1-888-373-7888) that is formed for emergency crisis.
Similarly, the United Kingdom is a country for children and women specifically from Asia, Africa and the Eastern Europe who are exposed to human trafficking for slavery which includes sexual slavery and forced labour and domestic labour. Workers are trafficked in the UK for purpose of construction and agriculture too wherein they are made to work for long hours and paid very minimum or at times, not even paid. The UK Authorities have initiated belligerent anti-trafficking efforts to curb the problem of trafficking. Although there are efforts from the Authorities of UK, the traffickers are not affected by the stringent laws. The traffickers know the risk they are in when entering in the business but continue to do so because of the advantage they receive. The maximum punishment is a jail sentence for 14 years but the imprisonment is not threatening due to the financial benefits.