World’s child trafficking victims and Issues

Context
According to a report titled from “Evidence to Action: Twenty Years of IOM Child Trafficking Data to Inform Policy and Programming”, was published at Harvard University indicating at the situation of Child Trafficking in the World and issues with victims and their identification.
  • The report was published on the IOM website and is based on the analysis of extensive, globally sourced data, using the IOM Victims of Trafficking Database (VoTD).
Highlights of the Report:
  • Victims belong to all backgrounds and genders: Some 4 per cent of child victims were female and 42.6 per cent were male.
  • No age bar for victims: It was found that Child-victims identified were ranged from 0 to 17 years
    • Children aged 13-17 formed the largest group of child victims (46.6 per cent).
  • Reason of Child Trafficking:
    • About half of the child victims were being trafficked for forced labour (mainly boys), in a wide range of industries, such as domestic work, begging and agriculture.
    • Sexual exploitation, including through prostitution, pornography, and sexual servitude, is also prominent, affecting 20 per cent of trafficked children, especially for girls.
  • Patterns identified:
    • Child victims reported being exploited in domestic work (14.5 per cent), begging (10.2 per cent), hospitality (3.4 per cent) and agriculture (3.3 per cent).
    • Female child victims are more likely to report sexual exploitation (30.3 per cent) than male child victims (7.3 per cent).
  • Major Concerns:
    • Over half of world’s child trafficking victims trafficked within own country.
    • More than half of the child victims reported the involvement of friends and family in their recruitment into trafficking.
  • Use of threats against the victims (39.5 per cent), as well as the use of excessive working hours to control them (36.5 per cent), was also reported by a sizeable share of child victims.
  • Key suggestions of the Report:
    • 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 affected by climate change, environmental degradation and disasters to develop community-based mitigation strategies aimed at reducing human trafficking.
About Human Trafficking:
  • According to the UNODC, Human Trafficking is “the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of people through force, fraud or deception, to exploit them for profit.”
  • Human trafficking involves recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring, or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, for exploitation.
India and Human Trafficking:
  • The Government had taken several steps to deal with the Human Trafficking problem over the years.
  • The Government of India has also provided financial assistance to the States for setting up Anti-Human Trafficking Units at District level.
  • A proposal for setting up and strengthening Anti Human Trafficking Units in all districts of States and UTs under ‘Nirbhaya Fund’ has been approved.
Constitutional Provisions:
  • Article 23prohibits human trafficking and beggar (forced labour without payment).
  • Article 24forbids the employment of children below the age of 14 years in dangerous jobs like factories and mines.
Laws related to prohibiting Human Traffic:
  • 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 has been substituted with Section 370 and 370A IPC which provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking.
  • Protection of Children from Sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, is a special law to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation.
India and International Conventions:
  • UN Convention: India has ratified the United Nations Convention on Transnational Organised Crime (UNCTOC) which has as one of its Protocols Prevention, Suppression and Punishment of Trafficking in Persons, particularly Women and Children.
  • SAARC Convention: India has ratified the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children for Prostitution. A Regional Task Force was constituted to implement the SAARC Convention.
  • Bilateral mechanism: For dealing with cross border trafficking and to address the various issues relating to prevention of Trafficking, victim identification and repatriation and make the process speedy and victim-friendly between India and Bangladesh, a Task Force of India and Bangladesh was constituted.
  • A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between India and Bangladesh on Bi-lateral Cooperation for Prevention of Human Trafficking in Women and Children, Rescue, Recovery, Repatriation and Re-integration of Victims of Trafficking was signed in June, 2015.

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