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DATA STORY: Human trafficking in India

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Published: 8th Apr, 2022

Human trafficking is a group of crimes involving trafficking in person of men, women and children for sexual exploitation or for financial gains or other exploitation of trafficked persons. Victims are lured or abducted from their homes and subsequently forced to work against their wish through various means in various establishments, indulge in or subjected to various types of indignities and even killed or incapacitated for the purposes of begging and trade in human organs.

India and provisions related to human trafficking:

  • Article 23 prohibits human trafficking and begar (forced labour without payment).
  • Article 24 forbids employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines.
  • Section 370 and 370A of IPC provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking including trafficking of children for exploitation in any form including physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.
  • Sections 372 and 373 dealing with selling and buying of girls for the purpose of prostitution.
  • The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
  • There are other specific legislations enacted relating to trafficking in women and children - Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994,
  • Protection of Children from Sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, is a special law to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
  • State Governments have also enacted specific legislations to deal with the issue (e.g. The Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012).

This data story aims to highlight the scenario of human trafficking in India.


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