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  • Paras Sharma

Human Trafficking Laws: Causes and Prevention

Written by: Sreejita Makhal & Pusprita Chowdhury, Students, Amity Law School, Amity University Kolkata


Human trafficking violates human rights of victims. It is imperative to realize how such a heinous crime like human trafficking laws and other criminal resolutions interconnect to prevent such crime. The paper introduces us with the nature of human trafficking giving us a wide scope of it. It defines ‘human trafficking’ highlighting upon the definition as given by the United Nation. The researchers have focused on the types of human exploitation in details. The paper centralizes upon the legal jurisdiction in pertinence to India, Universal Instruments prohibiting Human Trafficking, and Provincial Instruments (SAARC Conventions). The steps to prevent human trafficking have further been discussed in the research paper along with various case laws giving a concrete support to prevent human trafficking. The paper is concluded with the recommendations about what can be done to prevent such crime focusing mainly upon national and UJJWALA schemes.


Human trafficking is that the process of capturing people through the utilization of violence, deception or coercion and exploiting them for financial or personal gain. Human trafficking is usually understood by the method through which individuals are placed in exploitative situations for gain. Trafficking of women implies that the women are made into sexual exploitation; men are tricked into accepting risky job offers and trapped in forced labour in building sites or factories. People are often exploited and forced into sexual exploitation, labour, begging, drug abuse, forced marriage or organ removal.

The United Nations defines human trafficking[1] as the enrolment and transportation of human for the utilization of power or different types of compulsion or kidnapping or the maltreatment of intensity or of a place of weakness or giving advantages to accomplish the assent of an individual for abuse.


There are many sorts of exploitation into which individuals are often trafficked. These crimes are happening in every corner of the world and may include a person no matter of what age, socio-economic background or location.

§ Sexual Exploitation happens when someone is deceived, coerced or forced to take part in sexual activity. A person could be sexually exploited in prostitution, forced marriage, internet chat rooms, and pornography.

§ Labour exploitation: This means people are forced to work for little or no remuneration, under threat of punishment. There are a number of means through which a person can be forced, which includes use of violence, retention of identity papers, threat of exposure to immigration authorities and likewise. Exploitation of labourers is generally done for organ accumulation, forced criminality.



India has wide scope of laws ordered by the Parliament and some State governing body, aside from the provisions of the Constitution, which is the essential law of the nation.

a. Constitution of India

o Article 23 of the Constitution protects the citizens against any abuse and prohibits human trafficking and makes this practice culpable under law.

o Protection of the children below 14 years from working in plants, mines under the purview of Article 24 of the Indian Constitution.

b. Indian Penal Code

o Section 366A states that inducing minor woman to go to any place with an aim to constrain/allure her for unlawful intercourse will be a culpable offense.

o Section 366B imports any woman under twenty-one years with the plan that she will be enticed to illegal intercourse with someone.

o Section 374 punishes any individual who unlawfully forces any individual to work.

c. Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 is the essential enactment for the counteraction of sexual abuse for women.

d. Protection of Children from Sexual offenses (POCSO) Act, 2012[4]

The Act (w.e.f. 14th November’12) is a law to shield children from abuse. It gives exact definitions to various types of sexual maltreatment including penetrative and non-penetrative rape.

e. Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986

The Act precludes work of children underneath explicit age in certain predetermined occupations. It forces punishment for the work of minor children.

f. Data Technology Act, 2000

Section 67A and 67B prohibit distribution of explicit material in electronic structure.

Other specific legislations related to human trafficking across various states include:

g. Adolescent Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2000

h. Karnataka Devadasi (Prohibition of Dedication) Act, 1982

i. Andhra Pradesh Devadasi (Prohibiting Dedication) Act, 1989

j. Goa Children's Act, 2003


Ø Universal Conventions for the Suppression of the Traffic is Persons and of the Exploitation of the Prostitution of others, 1949.

Ø The Convention on Consent to Marriage, Minimum Age for Marriage and Registration for Marriages-Convention authorized w.e.f. 19th December 1964.

Ø The Convention on the Elimination of All types of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) - Convention authorized w.e.f. 3rd September’1981.

Ø The Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), 1989 received on 2nd September’1990 (India endorsed it in November’1992).

Ø The International Convention concerning the Prohibition and Immediate Action for the Elimination of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (ILO Convention 182), 1999-Convention authorized w.e.f. 19th November’2000.

Ø The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (Trafficking Protocol), 2001.


At provincial (South Asia level) we are signatory of instruments, managing the sexual abuse:

i. SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution, 2002.

ii. SAARC Convention on Regional Arrangements for the advancement of child government assistance in South Asia, 2002.


The Government of India has shaped a cell in the Ministry of home Affairs, Government of India for anti-human trafficking. The organizations are being sharpened on the issue of trafficking and a few modules for police trainings have been defined by United Nations office on Drugs and Crimes (UNODC), Bureau of Police Research, Development (BPRD) and Ministry of Home Affairs. The Union of India in a joint effort with NGOs has propelled Ujjwala and Swadhar Schemes are engaged towards trafficked children.

I. National Scheme for Rehabilitation of Sex Workers

o A board, established by the Supreme Court to investigate the restoration of sex laborers on 8th November’2012, has presented a recovery plan to the Court. The board has proposed to the Apex Court that the plan ought to support the education of children of sex laborers.

o Victims can be alluded for the plan by social work association and so on.

o Introducing, the idea of "Guide" to help the casualty in her recovery. "Guide" will be paid for such assistance. Victims can pick their place of restoration.

o Provision for casting a ballot card, Aadhar card to get profits by government plans.

II. UJJAWALA Scheme - Ministry of Women and Child Development

"Ujjawala" is an exhaustive plan for the avoidance of trafficking and restoration of women and children for sexual exploitation in India. It was propelled in 2007 by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, Government of India, comprising of certain systems for the reintegration and repatriation of casualties including cross fringe casualties.


Justice Bhagwati in Lakshmi Kant Pandey vs. Union of India[6] has communicated his view consequently stating that in an edified society the significance of child government assistance can't be over-accentuated, in light of the fact that the government assistance of the whole network, its development and advancement, rely upon the wellbeing and prosperity of its children. Children are a 'remarkably significant national resource' and the future prosperity of the country depends on how its children develop.

In Vishal Jeet vs. Union of India and others[7], there was a PIL against the prostitution of women and an intrigue for their recovery. The causes and underhanded impacts of prostitution affecting the society at large are so famous and awful that none can deny it. This danger is hourly undermining the network everywhere gradually except consistently making its way onwards leaving a track set apart with broken expectations. Hence, the need for intense activity to destroy this evil has become evident yet its effective fulfillment at last rests with people in general on the loose.


The laws for human trafficking must be reinforced so that it meets all the necessities for forestalling human trafficking. There must be awareness about human trafficking across the globe especially among individuals who are in the poverty line so that they do not fall prey to such heinous crime. Numerous national and universal workshops and assemblies can be directed across the globe with the goal that the overall individuals and the legislature can hold hands to forestall human trafficking. The Government must secure the vulnerable section of the society so as to avoid human trafficking. The survivors of the human trafficking are mostly people from beneath poverty line so the offense of human trafficking can be incredibly forestalled if the Government helps that particular poor section of the society by giving them proper education and employment.


[1]Human Rights Commission Accessed on 28.08.2020 [2] Accessed on 28.08.2020 [3] Monica, Law against human trafficking in India Accessed on 29.08.2020 [4] Ministry of external Affairs, Government of India Last accessed on 29.08.2020 [5]Darshna, Saudamini Singh and Tabinda Khan, Judicial Colloquium On Human Trafficking, 27th February, 2016 Accessed on 29.08.2020 [6] Lakshmi Kant Pandey vs. Union of India 1984 AIR 469, 1984 SCR (2) 795 [7] Vishal Jeet vs. Union Of India and others 1990 AIR 1412, 1990 SCR (2) 861


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