Child Trafficking Data to Inform Policy & Programming


    Child Trafficking Data to Inform Policy & Programming

    Syllabus: GS2/ Mechanisms, Laws, Institutions & Bodies for Protection & Betterment of these Sections, Issues Relating to Development

    In Context

    • The report, titled From Evidence to Action: Twenty Years of IOM Child Trafficking Data to Inform Policy and Programming, was recently prepared by International Organization for Migration (IOM) and François-Xavier Bagnoud Center for Health and Human Rights at Harvard University.

    What is Human Trafficking?

    • It is the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, with the aim of exploiting them for profit.
    • Men, women and children of all ages and from all backgrounds can become victims of this crime, which occurs in every region of the world. 
    • The traffickers often use violence or fraudulent employment agencies and fake promises of education and job opportunities to trick and coerce their victims.
    • Human trafficking is a global crime that trades in people and exploits them for profit. 

    Report highlights

    • Gender specific trafficking: Child trafficking victims come from all backgrounds and genders, according to the report. 
      • Some 57.4 percent of child victims were female and 42.6 per cent were male according to the dataset.
    • Age-wise data:
      • The report noted that no age range is immune to child trafficking. Child victims ranged from 0 to 17 years old, it added.
      • Children aged 13-17 formed the largest group of child victims (46.6 percent).
      • A small but significant percentage of child victims (12.6 percent) were aged between 0 and 2 years old, indicating that these victims were likely born into trafficking.
    • Trafficking for Forced labour: 
      • Close to half of the child victims of trafficking (43.4 percent) were being trafficked for forced labour (mainly boys), in a wide range of industries, such as domestic work, begging and agriculture.
    • Trafficking for Sexual exploitation:
      • Sexual exploitation, including through prostitution, pornography, and sexual servitude, is also prominent, affecting 20 percent of trafficked children, predominantly girls.    
      • The report noted that victims trafficked for sexual exploitation were commonly trafficked internationally, while those trafficked for forced labour were more likely to be trafficked domestically.
        • In cases of international trafficking, children are mostly trafficked to neighbouring, wealthier countries.   
    • Other reasons for trafficking: Child victims reported being exploited in 
      • Domestic work (14.5 percent), 
      • Begging (10.2 percent), 
      • Hospitality (3.4 percent) and 
      • Agriculture (3.3 percent). 
    • Countries for trafficking:
      • About 37.3 percent of child victims originating from Europe and Central Asia were trafficked for sexual exploitation. 
      • Over 56.9 percent of identified child victims had been trafficked within their country of origin.
    • Involvement of keens:
      • More than half of the child victims reported the involvement of friends and family in their recruitment into trafficking (37.4 percent and 14.7 percent, respectively; 51.1 percent, taken together).
    • Report database:
      • The report is based on the analysis of extensive, globally sourced data, using the IOM Victims of Trafficking Database (VoTD).
      • The VoTD is the largest available international database of individual victims of trafficking. 
      • It contains primary data collected from approximately 69,000 victims of human trafficking.
        • These victims belong to 156 nationalities and were trafficked in 186 countries.  
      • About 18.3 percent of VoTDs in the database were children.

    Suggestions by the report & way ahead

    • Integrating counter-trafficking with global issues:
      • Integrating counter-trafficking into climate change, environmental and disaster risk reduction policies and programmes, including during preparedness and response to disasters, with tailored programmes to address the vulnerability of children to trafficking.  
    • Empowering communities:
      • Empowering communities affected by climate change, environmental degradation and disasters to develop community-based mitigation strategies aimed at reducing human trafficking.

    Constitutional and Legislative Provisions in India relating to Human Trafficking

    • Article 23(1): 
      • It prohibits the trafficking of persons.
    • Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA): 
      • It aims to stop immoral trafficking and prostitution in India and is divided into 25 sections and one schedule.
    • Sections 366(A) of Indian Penal Code: 
      • It prohibits kidnapping and Section 372 of IPC prohibits selling minors into prostitution.
    • Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act 1976, Child Labour (Prohibition and Abolition) Act 1986 and Juvenile Justice Act: 
      • All of these prohibit bonded and forced labour.
    • Protection of Children from Sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012: 
      • It is a special law to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.

    Measures Taken by Government

    • The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 was passed by Lok Sabha but could not be taken up in Rajya Sabha and subsequently lapsed
    • Draft of the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill 2021 was published by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in June 2021.   
      • The draft bill widens the definition of the “victim” by including transgenders, besides women and children.
      • National Anti-Trafficking Committee:
        • Once the bill becomes an Act, the central government will notify and set up a National Anti-Trafficking Committee, while state governments will set up these committees at state and district levels to ensure effective implementation.
    • Anti-Human Trafficking Units (AHTUs):
      • AHTU, an integrated task force, was set up in 2007
      • The force draws personnel from the police and other related departments, with funding by the Union Ministry of Home Affairs
    • Anti Trafficking Cell (ATC): 
      • It was set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) in 2006 to act as a focal point for communicating various decisions and following up on action taken by the State Governments to combat the crime of Human Trafficking. 
    • Women help desks:
      • These were established in 10,000 police stations across the country.
    • Operation AAHT:
      • Under this, special teams will be deployed on all long-distance trains/routes with a focus on rescuing victims, particularly women and children, from the clutches of traffickers.
      • The infrastructure and intelligence network of the RPF could be utilised to collect, collate and analyse clues on victims, source, route, destination, popular trains used by suspects, the identity of carriers/agents, kingpins etc and shared with other law-enforcing agencies.
    • Scheme Strengthening law enforcement response in India against Trafficking in Persons through Training and Capacity Building:
      • MHA under this Comprehensive scheme, has released funds for the establishment of Anti Human Trafficking Units for 270 districts of the country.
      • Strengthening capacity building: 
        • To enhance the capacity building of law enforcement agencies and generate awareness among them.


    Daily Mains Question

    [Q] Examine the issue of Human Trafficking in India. What is the significance of integrating counter-trafficking measures with the climate change measures?