Investigating Human Trafficking in India

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Investigating Human Trafficking in India

As per Presidential Proclamation, January 11 is observed as the blue Campaign’s “Wear Blue Day” – it is a day designated to express solidarity with victims of human trafficking and raise ample awareness about this heinous crime. Since 2010, January is marked as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month – to combat the perils of modern-day slavery and restore to all the basic rights of freedom, dignity, and justice.

On that count, this January, India scores low when it comes to human trafficking. Almost 20,000 women and children were trafficked in India in 2016, indicating a surge of about 25% from the previous year. The International Labor Organization (ILO) estimates that around 1.2 million children are trafficked each year.

As per the comprehensive report , India is a labor-surplus, developing country, in which more than 40% of the population is regarded as economically deprived. While forced labor is a prime cause of India’s most rampant trafficking crime – here we’ve some other causes of child trafficking that acts as catalysts to boost this dreadful yet profitable crime business across the country and outside:

A Big Economic Handicap

Poverty and unemployment have crippled India as a nation. With nearly half of the entire population falling under economically deprived zone, India is a land of lost opportunities and scrappy resources. In Indian culture, parents think their children should earn money and free the family from the dark shackles of poverty. For that, many, though not all, send their children to big Indian cities to earn a livelihood and ease their poverty.  And just as they do so, the poor little souls get abducted into sex slavery or human trafficking rackets, from where they can never be brought back.

Anti-education classrooms

Hard fact: deplorable school conditions dissuade children from going to school. Though the Right to Education act is in place, the urge to learn and gain education is missing. This is further worsened by teachers who show no or very less zeal to teach in villages, owing to less remuneration and faulty infrastructure. Why is why, around 8.33 lakh children has been trafficked in India – lured with a promise of better education, living condition and of course higher payment.

Girls the new retail product

For ages, girls are looked down upon as objects of desire, and sons are viewed as more ‘valuable’ than the daughters. Even now, sons are given more importance in the family. Why? Because they keep the family name and carries it over with time. For sons, families don’t have to pay dowry or anything. Since girls are weak, they tend to be easily absorbed under the grips of child labor or some form of sexual slavery. According to a tabloid report, TODAY also girls are openly sold in Patna and Agra and traded for being a virgin.

Social Imbalances

India still works with the caste system: it is a reality. While modern India goes crazy for reservation, it is the rural India that is still functioning under caste based discrimination – lower castes get lower opportunities than the higher castes, and vice versa. It is not surprising that higher caste people are found exploiting and manipulating lower caste individuals for personal benefits, resulting in a lot of forced slavery and sexual abuse. Forced selling of children is common in distraught villages in the interiors of the country – The National Crime Record Bureau (NCRB) has even reported cases where children have “disappeared”, with a frequency of one in eight minutes.

Corruption and political instability

Corruption in India is widespread, involving thousands of crores. With different parties coming to power every 5 years, there exists a general lack of resolution to pass a powerful anti-child trafficking law – triggering more happening of such unfortunate crimes every year. Also the list of pending cases, filling Indian courts’ file depositories range from hundreds to thousands. All this creates a mindset among people that promotes casual bribery, coercion, sexual abuse and human trafficking.

Why we fight

We’ve taken you through some of the core socio economic triggers that are responsible for the growing underworld of trafficking. It is easy to get overwhelmed by the size of the problem and feel like it’s something that can’t be solved. That’s a #myth

One big secret we’ve uncovered is that even a single person can make a big change. Every Missing stencil spray painted in a city gets 500-1000 impressions. That’s 500 – 1000 people joining in the anti-trafficking conversation.

And Knowledge is power; being aware of the facts is a key step in decreasing the demand for sexual exploitation..

So join our fight. #EndDemand with Missing by taking this conversation to your neighborhood, school and city. Anyone can be a part of the missing campaign and join our various initiatives. Check out our projects to learn more and see how you can be a part of this journey.