Rethinking trafficking {Social Issue}

Human Trafficking

Trafficking in persons is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. Every year, thousands of men, women and children fall into the hands of traffickers, in their own countries and abroad. Almost every country in the world is affected by trafficking, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. UNODC, as guardian of the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime (UNTOC) and the Protocols thereto, assists States in their efforts to implement the  Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons.

What is Human Trafficking?

Article 3, paragraph (a) of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons defines Trafficking in Persons as the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs

Elements Of Human Trafficking 

On the basis of the definition given in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol, it is evident that trafficking in persons has three constituent elements;

The Act (What is done)

Recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons

The Means (How it is done)

Threat or use of force, coercion, abduction, fraud, deception, abuse of power or vulnerability, or giving payments or benefits to a person in control of the victim

The Purpose (Why it is done)

For the purpose of exploitation, which includes exploiting the prostitution of others, sexual exploitation, forced labor, slavery or similar practices and the removal of organs.

To ascertain whether a particular circumstance constitutes trafficking in persons, consider the definition of trafficking in the Trafficking in Persons Protocol and the constituent elements of the offense, as defined by relevant domestic legislation.

India should not follow the raid-rescue-rehabilitation model

Report

The report estimated that there were 40.3 million “modern slaves” worldwide in 2016, with 24.9 million in forced labour and 15.4 million in forced marriages. It did not name countries, but the writing on the wall was clear as 17,000 interviews had been conducted in India, and 61.78% of the “modern slaves” were in Asia and the Pacific.

The current definition of trafficking in Section 370 of the IPC is not limited to sex work; yet, the Trafficking Bill is patently neoabolitionist. It pursues the classic raid-rescue-rehabilitation model, with stringent penalties for trafficking, including life imprisonment for its aggravated forms, reversals of burden of proof, and provisions for stripping traffickers of their assets

What should India do?

In a recent statement, scholars, activists and workers’ rights groups argued against extending a criminal law, raid-rescue-rehabilitation model beyond sex work to other labour sectors.

They called instead for a multi-faceted legal and economic strategy; robust implementation of labour laws; a universal social protection floor; self-organisation of workers; improved labour inspection, including in the informal economy; and corporate accountability for decent work conditions.


Source: The Hindu

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