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8th February 2022 (6 Topics)

RPF launches Nationwide Operation to Curb Human Trafficking


Railway Protection Force launches “Operation AAHT” to intensify crackdown on human trafficking.


What is Human Trafficking?

  • According to the UNODC,

Human Trafficking is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, to exploit them for profit.” 

  • Human trafficking involves recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring, or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, for exploitation.
  • Exploitation includes, 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.

Legal and Constitutional Frameworks to Counter Human Trafficking in India:

  • Constitution of India
  • Article 23prohibits human trafficking and beggar (forced labor without payment).
  • Article 24 forbids the employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines.
  • Immoral Traffic Prevention Act, 1986:
  • The purpose of this Act is to give effect to the Trafficking Convention and to prohibit immoral human trafficking.
  • It constitutes authorities at the centre and state level to combat trafficking. However, it does not elaborate on the role, function, and composition of these authorities
  • Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013: It has come into force wherein Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) has been substituted with Section 370 and 370A IPCwhich provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking.

Other Steps Taken by India:

  • Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cellwas set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2006 to act as a focal point for communicating various decisions and follow up on action taken by the State Governments to combat the crime of Human Trafficking.
  • Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU):
  • The Ministry of Home Affairs under a Comprehensive Scheme ‘Strengthening Law Enforcement Response in India against Trafficking in Persons’ (2010) has released fund for establishment of AHTU for many districts of the country.
  • The primary role of an Anti-Human Trafficking Unit (AHTU) is law enforcement and liaising with other concerned agencies for care & rehabilitation of victims.
  • UN Convention:India has ratified (in 2011) United Nations Convention on Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC) which among others has a Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children.
  • SAARC Convention:India has ratified the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution.

About Operation AAHT:

  • A special team will be deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers.
  • As part of “Operation AAHT”, the infrastructure and intelligence network of the force could be utilised to collect, collate and analyse clues on victims, source, route, destination, popular trains used by suspects, identity of carriers/agents, kingpins etc and shared with other law-enforcing agencies.

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