€The Critical Role of the Civil Society in Combating Human Trafficking

By Harshit Singh Jadoun

Editor’s Note: Human Trafficking is one of the worst forms of social evil that can still be perceived all over the world. This research paper essentially concentrates on forms of human trafficking all around the world for example Trafficking in women for sexual exploitation, child sex tourism, forced labour, bonded labour, Trafficking in organs and scores of other. Despite rigorous policies all across the world against human trafficking those questions its very subsistence but still makes every effort to abolish Trafficking imperceptible. Child and women trafficking in India is not a socio-legal issue but is deeper that hence, requires a comprehensive strategy needs to be drawn to fight the crime.

Every country has different root causes for trafficking which is influenced by socio, religious and economic factors. Political instability, militarism, civil unrest, internal armed conflict and natural disaster may result in an increase in trafficking. The destabilization and displacement of population increase their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse in trafficking. Trafficking in women for exploitation is the most prevalent form of evil at this point of time. Women and children from different countries are lured by the promise of decent employment into leaving their homes and what they consider to be a better life. There is a trafficking for forced labour in which people are recruited by deception and find themselves in condition of slavery in variety of jobs.

Trafficking in organs for purposely using it especially kidney is a rising form of criminal activity being witnessed in the various countries; the operation of the patient is done in a very clandestine manner without any medical follow-up which also exploits the potential donors. Child marriage is also considered to be a major modus operandi of child trafficking and there has hardly been any respite from this rampant social evil even after the passing of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006.

The abuse of women and children has severe Consequences at individual as well as community level, undermining the personal development of children and also bringing serious problem to whole community. The outcome of it is so grim that for victim it leads to physical, sexual, psychological trauma health risks such as sexually transmitted disease, insomnia and suicidal tendencies and all these result in difficult reintegration of the sufferer. At the community level it may lead to growing influence of criminal organisation, corruption against government, increase in illegal migration, problems of national security.

There has been national as well as international pressure on India for putting an end to this misdemeanour but there has been no result up till now regarding this issue. Bangladesh, Nepal is the most infamous country when it comes to human trafficking. They are a major hub for transit routes all across the world as well as a source, transit and destination for human trafficking. For putting an end to this crime every country has to incorporate steps such as employment and capacity development education and empowerment, administrative and community actions make human rights accessible to the victims. Overall this paper discusses about various forms of human trafficking in India as well as various countries and measures being taken by every country.


Human trafficking is an issue which the researcher think is widespread and victims of which can be seen in majority areas of the country and the citizens of our country are yet not taking it seriously in spite of becoming its sufferer.

Research Question:

Q1. What are the reasons and causes of Human Trafficking?
Q2. How can the problem of human trafficking be dealt in an efficient manner?

Research Methodology:

The researcher has used various government websites in order to gain information. Use of Magazines, Newspaper and other secondary data has also been used by the researcher to gather material regarding this topic.

Literature Review:

Human Trafficking is an issue which is very much in news all over the world but very little has been done as far as the researcher has concluded after going through various materials and content through different sources. The material available on this topic is very limited and most of it is based on research and coverage by media. There are many organized crimes that lead to this phenomenon of Trafficking and in spite of legislation that are made to impede this crime but are not that much effective to put a bar to all such activities.


Human Trafficking is the acquisition of people by fraud, deception or sham with the aim of exploiting them. The world is crammed with several people afflicted with trafficking and many must have lost their life after coming into this trap. 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 labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs. Human Trafficking is a momentous violation of human rights where every year thousands of men, women, and children fall into the hands of traffickers and are exploited for the rest of their life.

The aim of Trafficking is always exploitation either sexual, prostitution, forced or bonded labor, human organs in their own country or international borders. The fundamental pretext made by traffickers to the victims is that they would be provided with education, good clothes and better living conditions which proves to be a bait for the folks and they get duped by the traffickers.

The crime is carried out through a long chain all around the world, furthermore, communication and transport system of the dealers is so pungent that hardly any authority comes to know about this and at today’s point of time it has turned out to be a business for traffickers. This felony is so severe that no one wants to admit that it even exists. It is really very unfortunate to see this crime being committed in a stage where everyone and every country are concerned about human rights being granted to each and every person.

Human right is the basic necessity of life but by the act like human trafficking, it places one and all in the dilemma that whether it would ever happen that in this world nobody would be devoid of his/her human rights. India itself is becoming a hub of trafficking where cities like Delhi, Chhattisgarh are leading ones. The report by the Thomson Reuters Foundation and Freedom Fund said although illegal, trafficking is widespread across India while perpetrators go unpunished and many victims are unable to obtain justice and compensation.

India is home to more than 14 million victims of human trafficking, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index, which found India had the greatest number of slaves of 167 countries. Nick Grono, CEO of Freedom Fund, the world’s first private donor fund dedicated to ending modern slavery, said human trafficking is a massively profitable business that needed to be “dealt with as a criminal enterprise”.

The United States says that India has the world’s largest human trafficking problem. For the fourth consecutive year, India was warned in the US State Department’s “Trafficking in Persons Report” that it could be added to a blacklist of countries deemed not meeting minimum standards in fighting what it called the scourge of “modern-day slavery.” “The world’s largest democracy has the world’s largest problem of human trafficking,” said the department’s specialist on the trafficking issue, Mark Lagon.

Traffickers steal the hope to turn people into commodities in a deceitful trade that, despite our efforts, continues to operate with impunity. All countries are having strict laws regarding Trafficking issues but the problem is faced in enforcing them productively, reasons like corruption and threat by traffickers to victims family show the unwillingness of sufferers to cooperate with the legal system which in turn gives culprit another chance to continue their inhuman acts.

In India, Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act 1986, earlier known as SITA (Suppression of immoral trafficking act) Act 1956 provides punishment for people involved in trafficking but is still not that much effective in eradicating crime from the country. Every country in today’s world is just focusing on its economic development and trying its level best to ascertain various resources from different countries to become a well established one without taking into account crimes like Human Trafficking which if not eliminated could bring no harmony or peace to any continent.

It has really become very indispensable to take stern actions on this issue without delaying action in order to save people from such a heinous crime, therefore valuable methods should be adopted to confiscate this misdemeanor from the world. United Nation Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC) this year on 30th July 2014 first time celebrated “WORLD DAY AGAINST HUMAN TRAFFICKING”. The offense being a universal and the most reprehensible one demands supplementary attention towards.

A major step for dealing with this fault is Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons especially women and children, under the United Nation Convention against Transnational Organised Crime which came into force a decade ago. This was the first time Human Trafficking was criminalized and was counted as a serious concern for the world. Initially less than half of the countries had legislation criminalizing human trafficking but now more than 90 percent have embraced laws hostile to it.

Convictions reported globally, for example, remain extremely low: UNODC’s forthcoming 2014 Global Report on Trafficking in Persons shows that some 15% of countries did not record a single conviction between 2010 and 2012, while 25% only recorded between one and 10 convictions.


1. Poverty and Unemployment:

One of the major issues our country is dealing with is unemployment for men as well as women which leads unprivileged people to come into the suasion of traffickers and chose the wrong method of earning money without knowing that they are being made a victim of a very inhuman crime. Lack of employment makes easy for traffickers to persuade victims from different walks of life and bring them into unethical forces of the world for earning their livelihood. One of the most infamous consequences of trafficking is child labor, small kids are taken by culprits by influencing their parents by grabbing their confidence that their brood would be given jobs and will be paid for their work but what happens is totally contradicting.

The boys are sent to construction sites whereas girls are taken to borstals and misused in various other ways. Poverty forces folks to take steps without being aware of the consequences, in some cases individuals are forced to sell their organs and get a huge amount in their hands and at that time scarcity of resources bequeath them with nothing else than accepting the offer. There have been cases where the father has sold his kidney to get money for his daughter’s marriage and give dowry to the boy, which is the most deplorable site of our country.

2. Ignorance:

This is the most crucial factor for trafficking in India which should be taken care of as soon as possible. Small villages person are especially the ones who are targeted because they are the ones who are tried to influence due to their less exposure towards big metropolitan cities where all these types of crimes takes place and are used as a business hub where they convert all such person brought from different parts of country into such kind of felony.

3. Prostitution:

Prostitution has become a highly profitable business; commercial sex trade has been a chief destination for the trafficked girls in India. The trafficking of girls from Nepal into India for forced prostitution is perhaps one of the busiest slave sex trafficking routes anywhere in the world; with estimated 5,000-10,000 Nepali women and girls trafficked to India each year. Sometimes this crime is committed forcefully and sometimes it is done out of sheer necessity by young girls when they leave their home in order to earn money but could not succeed in their process. It is the darkest side of the country where girls have to adopt for such methods to earn their livelihood and unfortunately our country is one of those. Many politicians talk about legalizing the profession but it would help only those women who choose to do it with their consent not the victims to trafficking.

4. Government policies and Practises:

Government inaction and lack of consideration to the matter may facilitate trafficking; few corrupt government officials may indulge in trafficking which is very shameful on their behalf. Existing regulations are outdated and hence are ineffective in handling the problem, combating this crime needs regulation, monitoring, investigation, and prosecution with constant cooperation with colleagues in other countries. Many governments have not implemented national policies that coordinate the work of various branches that deal with trafficking, including law enforcement agencies.

National immigration policies can inadvertently affect trafficking routes. Weak border controls and untrained officials make it simple for the traffickers to transport victims from one country to another. Government policies should be such that adequate training should be given to officials so that they recognize the instance of trafficking and ensure that the needs of victims of trafficking are addressed.

Directives should be such which not only save the victims from trafficking but also lead to trafficked people swiftly being returned to their homes in the same condition, furthermore not being identified as victims of crime. Corruption among government officials can include asking bribe from traffickers or extracting profit from the trafficking industry. There should be internal affairs departments within the government structure as well as prosecution of government officials who are found involved in such types of commotion.


1. Sexual Exploitation:

It involves non-consensual or abusive sexual acts performed without victims permission, this includes prostitution and pornography. Women, men and children of both sexes can be the sufferer. Many are deceived with the promise of a proper life and then made to do the work through force or violence. Women and children from developing countries are more prone to such exploitation as they are lured by secure employment and living but what happens with them is they are kept in an inhuman condition with constant fear. Prostitution is harmful and dehumanizing, and fuels trafficking in person. Prostitution and any related activities, including pimping, pandering, or maintaining brothels as contributing to the phenomenon of trafficking in persons, should not be regulated as a legitimate form of work for any human being.

2. Forced Labor:

Forced labor compels victims to work for long hours in hard conditions without even paying wages or handling over it to traffickers. Forced labor crucially implies the use of coercion and lack of freedom of choice for the victim and in addition is subject to verbal threats and violence for obedience to do the job. Elements that constitute forced labor are either forces or threat or actual physical harm, restriction to movement or confinement to a workplace, debt-bondage, withholding of wages, and threat of denunciation to the authorities where the worker is of illegal status.

3. Domestic Servitude:

This form of trafficking is basically making people work in private household jobs such as child care or household work for long hours with little or no pay. Victims are isolated and their own privacy is infringed and given minimal freedom. Investigators and officers who reveal such cases report high ill-treatment and sexual abuse.

4. Organ harvesting:

Trafficking in human organs is a widely increasing crime where humans are kidnapped and operated for their kidney and various organs. These are the only organs which can be operated with lesser risk to the victim life. The operation is carried out in quite a clandestine manner without any medical –follow up which could prove to be quite dangerous and cause certain fatalities.

5. Child soldier:

Child soldiering involves the unlawful recruitment or abduction and use of children as combatants, porters, cooks, guards, servants, messengers, spies or for sexual exploitation by armed forces.  Perpetrators may be government forces, paramilitary organizations or rebel groups.  Both male and female child soldiers are often sexually abused and are at very high risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases.


There are many deadly consequences of women and child trafficking not only from the perspective of social wrong but they hold many pestilent consequences as well. The major heads discussed underneath are physical health problems, psychological disorders, sociological problems, economic losses, legal problems, and global consequences.

1. Physical and Health Problems:

The most grave and the critical consequences faced by the trafficked are the physical and health problems.

Women undergo various physical problems like bone pain, scratches all over the body, knuckle, and joint pains, broken fingers, etc. Trafficking women suffer physical abuse and physical exhaustion which result in critical health diseases. There are reported cases of vaginal bleeding, intestinal disorders along with the reproductive problems. Women endure the danger of sexually transmitted diseases and gynecological problems which are transmitted to their coming generations as well. Many times when a trafficked woman gets pregnant, her child is aborted the very next day and she is instructed to continue her job from the very next day of her abortion, which leaves her in a very deplorable condition.

The most dangerous insight is that of the physical and health problems faced by the children. Victims of child trafficking experience inhumane living conditions, inadequate diet and hygiene, beatings and abuse, neglect, and denial of their basic human rights to health care and protection, resulting in lasting health problems (ECPAT, 2006a; ILO-IPEC, 2001). Victims of CSE are further threatened by unsafe sexual practices, heightening risks of unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, complications from frequent high-risk pregnancies, and sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV/AIDS (ECPAT, 2006b; Mitchell, 2004; UNFPA, 2000). HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases are prevalent among children who have been trafficked (ECPAT, 2005; Scarpa, 2005). Related research has also identified a number of adverse health outcomes for children who have been abused, maltreated, and victimized (Malinosky-Rummell & Hansen, 1993; Sneddon, 2003).

2. Legal Consequences

Women who are victims of trafficking may also face legal consequences. Frequently, when victims of trafficking come to the attention of local authorities, they are detained or deported for immigration violations or for violating other local laws. As a result, many victims fear to go to the authorities to report abuse. Trafficking victims often do not want to risk being returned to their home country, where they may face continued economic hardship as well as social stigmatization. Victims may also fear retaliation by the traffickers, either against themselves or their families. Traffickers will frequently use threats of retaliation to control women who have been trafficked.

This situation not only represents a serious danger for the victim but also impedes the ability of law enforcement to address the problem. Victims who are deported are unable to cooperate in the prosecution of the criminals involved in the trafficking. Both the European Union and national governments have recognized the need to grant victims of trafficking special protection because of their crucial role in the investigation and prosecution of trafficking cases.

3. Psychological Disorders

The major heartbreak caused by trafficking is that it leaves the trafficked woman and child numb. Numb to everything. They don’t trust anybody anymore. Suffer from depression problems not only because of the fear of the acceptance by the society but also by the acceptance by themselves. They often go for suicidal attempts and lose the hope of living life. They are constantly in the environment of fear, tension, stress, pressure, and physical distress. They stop connecting and talking to people and keep themselves secured in their own cocoon of suffering, pain, resentment. They suffer grief, disassociated ego, pain, distrust, and become affectionless and numb, which not only affect their life as an individual but also of their near and dear ones.

4. Sociological Problems:

Along with the pain and agony that they suffer due to physical and mental problems, the society offers them more pain. They are rejected not only by society but also by their family members. They lose their support and become lonely fighting the war of self-respect and social disapproval themselves. They are ill-treated by society and looked down for the actions they never wanted to do. They are often regarded as inhumane and are deprived of the resources and pleasures that the other people enjoy.

5. Global Consequences:

The sin of human trafficking not only affects the individual and society but also affects the global world. It reduces the human resource of the country and results in its impoverished development. It also leads to distinguished wages given to the trafficked. The traffics are often provided mediocre jobs and the jobs of a low degree. Trafficking disrupts education, thereby depriving individuals (and therefore a country’s labor market) of the skills necessary to compete in the global economy. The prevalence of sexually transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS also affects the reputation as well as the life expectancy of the country. Because child victims do not participate in immunization programs, trafficking undermines government efforts to eradicate early childhood diseases.
Trafficking may also fund illicit activities and feed organized crime activities. The profits generated from trafficking may be used to fund both legal and illegal activities. Traffickers may also collaborate with other smugglers in developing and using particular routes, obtaining cash and forged documents, and bribing officials.


Human Trafficking is one of those issues which should be dealt sternly; its preventive measures should go hand in hand with other remedies that are done by the government to look into various other internal and external affairs. Law should be such that prove to be a deterrent for criminal activities. Backward countries and developing countries like India are usually prone to such crimes due to lack of economic resources and jobs with people. As a law student, I take this offense very seriously would definitely like to take steps to eliminate this evil from the society and would request the same for every person of our country.


1. UNODC – Human Trafficking
www.unodc.org/unodc/human-trafficking, Last seen 12/01/2015.

2. What is Human Trafficking?
Last seen 12/01/2015.

3. Anti Human Trafficking
stophumantrafficking-mha.nic.in/, Last seen 12/01/2015.

4. Human trafficking – The Hindu
www.thehindu.com/tag/human-trafficking/62794/, Last seen 21/01/2015.

5. Rescuing The Victims of Human Trafficking:
Last seen 13/01/105.

6. Human Traffickers in Bay of Bengal Cast Sights on Bangladesh:
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2014/10/29/human-traffickers-in-bay-of-bengal-cast-sights-on-bangladesh/, Last seen 18/01/2015.


Formatted on 15th February 2019.

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