Needed: an anti-trafficking law

SourceThe Hindu

Relevance: Eliminating Human trafficking altogether is a moral and constitutional responsibility


Human trafficking is a crime in itself, but it is also the propeller of several other crimes


Bachpan Bachao Andolan (BBA) and various civil society groups have campaigned for decades for a strong law to end this menace of human trafficking. In 2017, thousands of trafficking survivors marched a Bharat Yatra alongside students, governments, the judiciary, multifaith leaders, businesses and civil society to demand such a law.

COVID-19 and Trafficking:

COVID-19 has further intensified the need for the law. Traffickers are taking advantage of prolonged school closures and loss of family livelihood. BBA with government agencies has rescued almost 9,000 children from trafficking since the first lockdown. In comparison, about half this number of children were rescued during the same time period of 14 months preceding the pandemic.

About the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill:

The Government of India has proposed the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021. This Bill aims to tackle all aspects of trafficking including the social and economic causes of the crime, punishment to traffickers, and the protection and rehabilitation of survivors.

How essential is the legislation?
  • Human trafficking is a crime in itself, but it is also the propeller of several other crimes. It creates a parallel black economy that fuels child labour, child marriage, prostitution, bonded labour, forced beggary, drug-related crimes, corruption, terrorism and other illicit businesses.
  • Further, the architects of our Constitution established the severity of the crime of trafficking by making it the only offence punishable under the Constitution of India itself, besides untouchability.
    • So, a strong anti-trafficking law is the moral and constitutional responsibility of our elected leaders, and a necessary step towards nation-building and economic progress.
Suggestions to end trafficking in India:
  • To protect and rehabilitate the trafficked persons, the Bill has to include the necessary checks and balances against potential misuse of power by agencies, periodic reviews of the law, and adequate allocation of resources for effective implementation.
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