Human Trafficking means action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another, for the purposes of forced labour or sexual exploitation.

Human trafficking is a serious crime and grave violation of human rights. Sexual exploitation of the children for any country is worse than any other offence against the children.

Human trafficking can be for-

  1. Sexual exploitation
  2. Bonded Labour
  3. Domestic servitude
  4. Begging
  5. Drug peddling/smuggling
  6. Forced marriage.
  7. Forced criminality.
  8. Child soldiers
  9. Organ harvesting

Factors Leading to Trafficking

  1. Poverty
  2. Lack of employment opportunities
  3. Religious/ Traditional Prostitution
  4. Child Marriage
  5. False promises for job/marriage
  6. Migration
  7. Sex tourism
  8. Internet Pornography

Not only women and children but also men are subject to human trafficking. In India, many people are trafficked not only for sex trade but also for other various kinds of servitude.

Different types of sexual exploitation of children

This term sexual exploitation of children refers to criminal practices that demean, degrade and threaten the physical and psychological integrity of children, in particular, sexual abuse by an adult and remuneration in cash or kind to a child or third person(s). Besides the sexual crimes against women there are following forms of commercial sexual exploitation of children namely: (A) Child prostitution, (b) Child pornography, in general, /on the internet, (c) Trafficking for sexual exploitation, (d) Incestuous sexual exploitation (e) Child sex tourism and f) Child marriages.

Legal Framework

India has wide range of laws enacted by the Parliament and some State legislature, apart from provisions of the Constitution which is the basic law of the country.

  Constitution of India

  • Article 23- Protects against exploitation, prohibits traffic in humans and beggar and makes this practice punishable under law.
  • Article 24- Protects children below age 14 from working in factories, mines or other hazardous employment.

  Indian Penal Code

There are around 25 provisions for trafficking but some of the significant among them are as below-

  • Section 366A- Inducing any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to go to any such place with intent to forced or seduced illicit intercourse with another person shall be a punishable offence.
  • Section 366B- Importing any girl under twenty-one years with the intent that she will be, forced or seduced to illicit intercourse with another person is a punishable offence.
  • Section 374- Punishes any person who for unlawfully compels any person to labour against his will.

 Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act 1956

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 is the primary legislation for the prevention of sexual exploitation for women and girls. The word “Trafficking” is defined only by the Goa Children’s Act, 2003, which is a state law. Thus, while the ITPA is the main legislation related to the commercial sexual exploitation of children, it does not define trafficking.

Offences specified are:

  • Keeping a brother or allowing premises to be used as a brothel
  • Living on the earnings of prostitution
  • Attempting, procuring or taking person for the sake of prostitution
  • Detaining any person in premises for prostitution
  • Prostitution in the vicinity of public places
  • Seduction of a person in custody

Prevention of Trafficking

The human trafficking can be prevented by several types of intervention. It needs to focus on areas of sensitization and awareness in public and with those vulnerable areas which are responsible for creating such an environment for human trafficking.

Roles of


A compulsory high-quality education, income generation and employment opportunities should be created.

  • Promote high-quality programmes for teachers in government schools.
  • A preventive measure by different nations should be shared among each other to help both the countries in preventing trafficking.


The community should keep a vigilant watch on the movement of child victims of the area of traffickers.

  • They should educate and ensure to make parents are aware about the safe migration practice.


Media has a very important role due to major viewership.

  • Transmitting the appropriate message to the victim to ensure that they have a backup and are not alone.
  • A programme to make citizens aware of places and institutions to seek help in case if they are victimised.
  • Educate and spread awareness that human trafficking is illegal and inappropriate and that it has negative consequences.



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