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7/30/2015 InsearchoffreedomOPINIONTheHindu

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TODAY'SPAPEROPINION

Published:July30,201500:00IST|Updated:July30,201506:08IST
July30,2015

Insearchoffreedom
KailashSatyarthi

http://www.thehindu.com/todayspaper/tpopinion/insearchoffreedom/article7478859.ece?css=print 1/5
7/30/2015 InsearchoffreedomOPINIONTheHindu

themissingchildrenThevictimsoftrafficking,especiallychildren,needsafesocialandeconomicrehabilitation.Pictureshows
traffickedchildrenrescuedfromJammuandbroughttoNewDelhi.Photo:MeetaAhlawat

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7/30/2015 InsearchoffreedomOPINIONTheHindu

With2.5millionpeopleayearfallingvictimtoit,humantraffickingformsalucrativeilliciteconomythatmustbeattackedfromevery
angle

TheUnitedNations(UN)hasdesignatedJuly30asWorldDayagainstTraffickinginPersons.Itisagooddaytoremindourselvesofthe
plightofanestimated2.5millionpeopleand1.2millionchildrenwhoarevictimsoftraffickingeveryyearallovertheworld.

Itisalsoagooddaytoconfronttheburgeoningissueofmoderndayslavery.Weliveintimeswhenteenagegirlsaresoldinslavemarketsfor
aslittleasapackofcigarettes.Thesearetimeswhenyoungboysareforcedtobecomesoldiersandarehandedgunsandswordsinsteadof
toysandbooks.Theexamplesoftraffickingandmoderndayslaveryareincreasingsteadily,andrequireconcertedandcohesiveactionsothat
futuregenerationsareprotected.

Despitetechnology,whichhasputinformationandknowledgeatourfingertips,civilisationhaswokenuptothescourgeofslaveryonlyinthe

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7/30/2015 InsearchoffreedomOPINIONTheHindu

lastfewdecades.Humantraffickingresultsinandfuelsallformsofslaverysuchassexualexploitation,forcedlabour,otherformsoflabour
exploitation,forcedmarriages,andtheabuseofchildreninarmedconflicts.Curbinghumantraffickingbecomesimperativeintackling
slavery.

Theworldover,humantraffickingislabelledasthethirdmostlucrativeillicittrade,afterdrugsandarms.Butitis,infact,thesinglelargest
illicittradeintheworld.Slavery,prevalentinalmostallcountriesoftheworld,amountstoU.S.$32billionaccordingtoofficialsourcesanda
definitiveU.S.$150billionaccordingtonongovernmentalsources.

Taketheexampleofagirltraffickedillegallyinaredlightarea.AsolicitorpaysapproximatelyRs.500onanaverage.Ifthegirlperforms
sexualactsfor10peopleadayandthereare100suchgirlsinthearea,thenthatareaalonegeneratesRs.5lakhinblackmoneyinasingle
day.This,whenexpandedtothethousandsofsuchareasinalmostahundredcountries,amountstohugeamountsofblackmoney.This
moneyisused,inturn,tosupportallotherillicittrades,thussettingoffaboomingeconomybasedontrafficking.

Itisthisnexusofblackmoneyexchangethatneedstobedismantled.Thelucrativeilliciteconomythathasbeenbuiltuparoundtraffickingin
personsmustbeattackedfromeveryangle.

Despiteitsfrighteningrepercussions,therearemajorlegallacunaeinthedefinition,trackingandpunishmentoftrafficking.Aglobal
concertedefforthascomeuponlyinthelastfewdecades,afterthepassingoftheUnitedNationsProtocoltoPrevent,SuppressandPunish
TraffickinginPersons,EspeciallyWomenandChildren(PalermoProtocol)in2000.

IntheIndiancontext,ontheotherhand,trafficinhumanbeingshasbeenprohibitedasafundamentalrightgrantedintheConstitution.
UntouchabilityandtraffickingaretwocrimesthatareprescribedaspunishableintheConstitutionitself.

Despitethis,acomprehensivelawwaslaiddownonlyin2013,whichmadetraffickingacriminaloffence.IndiaratifiedthePalermoProtocol
afteracasewasfiledbymyorganisation,BachpanBachaoAndolan(BBA).TheJusticeVermacommitteereporthasdedicatedtwoentire
chapterstotheissueonthebasisofsuggestionsandrecommendationsfromBBA.

Thedelayedactionbygovernmentagenciesagainsttraffickinghasresultedinitswidespreadincidenceacrossthecountry,whichspansfrom
traffickingintoforcedlabourinhazardousworkandfactoriestotheseeminglyinnocuoustraffickingintodomesticlabour.Asperofficial
estimates,15childrengomissingeveryhourinIndiaand8areneverfound.Therealnumberoftraffickedchildrenisneverknown.The
internationalnexusoftraffickinghasmanifestationsrightinsideourhomes.Underthegarbofsupplyingcheapdomestichelp,placement
agenciestrafficpeople,makingthisalargeorganisedcrime,especiallyinmetropolitancities.Theproblemhenceneedsnotjust
organisationalsolutionsbutsocietalinvolvementtoo.

Inthisbackdrop,otherdisturbingformsoftraffickingarealsoemerging.Childreninarmedconflicts,illegaladoptions,thesaleoforgans,and
traffickingformarriagearesomeoftheotheruglyheadsoftraffickingthathaveemergedinthepastfewyears.

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7/30/2015 InsearchoffreedomOPINIONTheHindu

IhavealwaysmaintainedthatIndiaisalandofahundredproblemsandthemotherofabillionsolutions.Fillingpolicygapstocounter
trafficking,especiallyintheareaofrehabilitation,istheforemostneed.Nextinlineisanefficientlegalresponsetoallreportedcasesof
trafficking.Theenforcementoflawandthesubsequentenforcementofjusticemustbeimmediateandbecomeadeterrent.

Traffickingisanorganisedcrimethatneedsconcertedinterstateandinteragencyefforts.Arrestingaguiltyplacementagent,orshutting
downafactorythatemploystraffickedpersonsisnotenough.Theentiremoneytrailneedstobetrackedandeveryoneinvolvedtriedasper
law.

Thevictimsoftrafficking,especiallychildren,needsafesocialandeconomicrehabilitation.Higherbudgetaryallocationsareneededfortheir
immediatehelpandcounselling,besidesmakingarrangementsfortheirvocationaltraining,housingandrepatriation.Thereintroductionto
educationisalsoamust.Also,changesintheeducationsystemtoincluderightsbasedinformation,ifgiventoeachchild,canlaythe
foundationsofanawareandsecuregeneration.Schoolsandparentsmustmakechildrenawareofthedangersoftraffickingandpreparethem
torecogniseandtackleit.

Alltheseeffortswillonlyseeresultsthroughdedicatedpublicparticipation.Oursocialconsciencehastotreattraffickingforwhatitis,a
crimeandanevil.Wecan,allofus,helpcombattrafficking.Stayvigilantandinformtheauthoritieswheneveryouseeacaseofexploitation,
donotfrequentrestaurantsorshopsthatemploychildlabour,reporthomesthatemploychildren,besensitivetowardsvictimsofsexual
abuse,andparticipateactivelyindialogueagainsttraffickingandslavery.Businessesandcorporatehousesmustselfmonitorandmaptheir
supplychaintoensurethereisnotraffickingorforcedlabour.

Ibelievethattogetherwecaneliminatehumantraffickingacrosstheworld.Freedomisanonnegotiablerightandeachoneofus,
irrespectiveofoureconomicandsocialstatus,deservestohaveit.Theshacklesofslaverycanneverbestrongerthanthequestforfreedom.

(KailashSatyarthiisNobelPeaceLaureate,2014.)

Otherformsoftraffickingareemergingsuchaschildreninarmedconflictandillegaladoptions

KailashSatyarthi,NobelLaureate

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