Human trafficking, especially involving women and children, remains a major cause of concern for governments across the globe.
In India too, thousands of cases related to human trafficking are reported every year.
As per the government, in 2022, the Indian Mission in Kuwait alone has received 1,637 human trafficking-related complaints by domestic workers till June.
Most human trafficking cases reported from Gulf countries
Minister of State for Home Ajay Kumar Mishra says that though he does not have any specific information about the number of women being taken to the Gulf countries on the pretext of jobs, but Indian missions working abroad have received many complaints related to human trafficking.
According to the Union Ministry of Home Affairs, the Indian Mission in Bahrain received four complaints of human trafficking in 2021 and nine in 2022 so far. Similarly, the Indian Mission in Kuwait alone received 2,390 such complaints by domestic workers in 2021, while in 2022 till June, the Indian Mission has received 1,637 complaints related to human trafficking.
All of the victims were sent to Gulf countries without proper documents. In other countries these figures may increase further. According to the information, most cases of human trafficking are linked to Gulf countries.
Cases decreased, conviction ratio falls too
The cases of human trafficking are still not completely curbed. Although the cases of human trafficking in India have decreased by 25 per cent as compared to 2016, but on the other hand its conviction rate has also decreased. The conviction rate which was 27.8 per cent in 2016 has come down to 10.6 per cent in 2020. This is the reason why the US government in its annual report has placed India in the Tier-2 category in terms of human trafficking for the year 2022. This category is for those countries, where the standards of prevention of human trafficking are not being fully followed.
Mostly, women and children are targeted
According to a 2020 report by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC), human traffickers target 35 per cent of males (15 per cent boys), 65 per cent of females (19 per cent girls. These figures have been brought out by analysing victims from 135 countries.
Home Ministry urges High Courts to hold judicial colloquium on human trafficking
The Union Home Ministry has recently urged all the High Courts of the country to organise judicial colloquium on human trafficking, so that judicial officers can be sensitised against crimes like human trafficking. In a letter sent recently to the Registrar General of all High Courts of the country, the Home Ministry has said that victims of human trafficking often face many problems including prostitution, forced marriage and human organ trade. So this topic needs to be discussed.
Measures were taken for migrant workers
In cases of human trafficking, people are often sent abroad illegally on the pretext of jobs. There, women and children are forced into prostitution apart from doing domestic work. In this regard, the government has also taken many measures in the interest of migrant workers. The Government of India has signed many agreements with the countries where the maximum number of people are sent. Not only this, a 24/7 helpline and portal have also been formed.
Strict laws are made for human trafficking
To combat human trafficking in India, Anti-Human Trafficking Units are active in more than 330 districts across the country. Various ministries work closely to monitor Human Trafficking in and outside the country. Apart from this, several laws have also been made, such as through the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act 1956 and the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013, suitable provisions have been made in Section 370 and 370 (A) of the Indian Penal Code to deal with human trafficking.