New anti-trafficking law soon: Life term for repeat offenders

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The bill has proposed 10-year punishment for those engaging in “aggravated forms of trafficking". For repeat offenders, it suggests imprisonment for life. The bill has also proposed the establishment of a national anti-trafficking bureau.
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 The government is set to introduce a law to guard against human trafficking, proposing a 10-year punishment for those engaging in “aggravated forms of trafficking” while seeking life imprisonment for repeat offenders.
A bill to identify various forms of trafficking, including for the purposes of bonded labour, sexual exploitation, pornography, removal of organs and begging, has proposed severe punishment for those engaging in the heinous crime.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2017, initiated by the Women & Child Development Ministry, is currently with a Group of Ministers (GoM) that will take a final view on the matter, official sources told TOI.

The bill proposes the establishment of a national anti-trafficking bureau, which shall be entrusted with the gamut of issues aimed at controlling and tackling the menace under various forms. These include coordination, monitoring and surveillance of illegal movement of persons and their prevention. The bureau will also be entrusted with increasing cooperation and coordination with authorities concerned and organisations in foreign countries for strengthening operational and long-term intelligence for investigation of trafficking cases, and driving in mutual legal assistance.

Listing out the ‘aggravated forms of trafficking’, the bill speaks about offences such as forced labour, or bonded labour, by using violence, intimidation, inducement, promise of payment of money, deception or coercion. Also, it mentions trafficking after administering any narcotic drug or psychotropic substance or alcohol, or for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage.

The aggravated form also includes trafficking for the purpose of begging or forcing those who are mentally ill or are pregnant. “Whoever commits the offence of aggravated form of trafficking of a person shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than 10 years, but which may extend to life imprisonment and shall be liable to fine that shall not be less than Rs 1 lakh,” the bill proposes.

For repeat offenders, it suggests imprisonment for life “which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life”, apart from a fine that will not be less than Rs 2 lakh.

As per data released by the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), human trafficking numbers rose by almost 20% in 2016 against the previous year. NCRBsaid there were 8,132 human trafficking cases last year against 6,877 in 2015, with the highest number of cases reported in West Bengal (44% of cases), followed by Rajasthan (17%).

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Of the 15,379 victims who were caught in trafficking, 10,150 were female and 5,229 males. NCRB said the purpose of trafficking included forced labour; sexual exploitation for prostitution; other forms of sexual exploitation; domestic servitude; forced marriage; child pornography; begging; drug peddling; and removal of organs. It is believed that the numbers recorded by NCRB are a far cry to actual incidences of trafficking as many cases went unreported with many people still unaware of the crime or lacking confidence to seek police help.

For those engaging in ‘buying or selling’ a person, the bill proposes rigorous imprisonment for a term not less than seven years which can be extended to 10 years with a fine upwards of Rs 1 lakh. The bill also seeks punishment for those engaging in trafficking with the help of media, including print, internet, digital or electronic. It stipulates a punishment of not less than seven years which can go up to 10 years and a fine not less than Rs 1 lakh.

“Whoever distributes or sells or stores, in any form in any electronic or printed form showing incidence of sexual exploitation, sexual assault or rape for the purpose of extortion or for coercion of the victim or his/her family members, or for unlawful gain, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years but may extend to seven years.”

Apart from the national bureau, the bill also aims at having state-level anti-trafficking officers who shall also provide relief and rehabilitation services through district units and other civil-society organisations.
The bill also spells out measures towards relief and rehabilitation for the victims of trafficking, and seeks the formation of a committee for this purpose. The committee is proposed to be headed by the women & child development secretary and would have members from the ministries of home; external affairs; labour and employment; social justice and empowerment; panchayati raj; and heath and family welfare.

77.8% of trafficked kids lured into sex trade on job promise: Report


An estimated 77.8 per cent of the trafficked children are lured into flesh trade at the promise of good job, according to a report
Children shouting Slogans against Child Trafficking on the occation of Global Day Against Child Trafficking at Jantar Mantar on Friday.

Children shouting Slogans against Child Trafficking on the occation of Global Day Against Child Trafficking at Jantar Mantar on Friday.(HT File Photo)

An estimated 77.8 per cent of the trafficked children are lured into flesh trade at the promise of good job, according to a report

The report, compiled by West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights in collaboration with the International Justice Mission (IJM), said the children were subjected to brutal physical violence during conditioning period of the trade which also involved multiple rapes.

The report was released yesterday after on-field study in 2015-16 in the city and neighbourhood areas said.

“Once conditioned, these children were forced to provide sexual ‘services’ to 7-18 men in a day,” the report said.

An estimated 4.4 per cent of brothels and hotels in known red light locations, called ‘public establishments’ in the report, have minors sold for sex, the report said.

The overall number of children – both boys and girls – in such places like brothels was no more than 0.8 per cent, the report said.

Children have been put into the age group of 16-17 years.

In places where sex trade is carried out covertly, like residential premises, massage parlours and lodges, a higher number of 18 per cent children were engaged in such activities, it said.

Of the 131 sex workers sampled in such private establishments, where the information about flesh trade was known only to the select patrons, the number of children engaged in such trade were 24, the report said.

Regional Director, International Justice Mission, India Sanjay Macwan said after the launch, IJM in collaboration with WBCPCR (West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights) had conducted the survey with all possible help from Kolkata Police and CID.

Member Secretary, West Bengal State Legal Services Authority, Ajoy Kumar Gupta said: “One of the worst form of human trafficking is sex trafficking which is most visible in red light areas and a far greater number of them are women and children.”

The time has come for more inter-state collabration to fight this menace, Macwan said.

Macwan added, West Bengal has made some of the most progressive anti-trafficking efforts in the country.

“The finding of IJM’s study reflect the impact of state government’s iniatiatives, the proactive police effort to deter crime and timely conviction from the judiciary,” he said.

Surge in human trafficking; average 63 victims rescued a day in 2016

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West Bengal topped the list in reported cases of human trafficking at 3,579, accounting for 44 per cent of total cases in the country
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Of the total 15,379 victims in these cases, 9,034 (58 per cent) were below the age of 18 years, according to the latest NCRB statistics on crime released for 2016 (Representational)

More than 8,000 cases of human trafficking were reported in India in 2016, while 23,000 victims, including 182 foreigners, were rescued during the year, according to National Crime Records Bureau data. Last year, a total of 8,132 cases were reported from across the country compared to the 6,877 cases in 2015.

Of the total 15,379 victims in these cases, 9,034 (58 per cent) were below the age of 18 years, according to the latest NCRB statistics on crime released for 2016. West Bengal topped the list in reported cases of human trafficking at 3,579, accounting for 44 per cent of total cases in the country. The state had reported 1,255 (18.2 per cent) such cases in 2015, when it ranked second only to Assam.

Assam reported 91 cases (1.12 per cent) of human trafficking in 2016, witnessing a drastic reduction since 2015 when it ranked first in the country with 1,494 (21.7 per cent) such incidents. Rajasthan with 1,422 (17,5 per cent) cases was second on the list for reported human trafficking incidents in 2016, followed by Gujarat (548), Maharashtra (517) and Tamil Nadu (434).

In 2015, Rajasthan had reported 131 cases (1.9 per cent) of human trafficking while Gujarat had registered 47 (0.7 per cent). Delhi is 14th in this list for 2016 with 66 reported cases of human trafficking, down from 87 such cases in 2015.

According to the rate of crime (cases reported per one lakh population), West Bengal retained the first position in 2016 followed by Union territories Daman and Diu (7) and Goa (18). Daman and Diu otherwise ranks 24, while Goa 18. A total 23,117 human trafficking victims were rescued during 2016, with the police saving, on an average, 63 people a day.

While 22,932 of those rescued were Indian citizens, 38 were Sri Lankans and as many Nepalis. Thirty three of the foreigners rescued were identified as Bangladeshis, while 73 from ‘other countries’, including Thailand and Uzbekistan, the NCRB data stated. As many as 14,183 of the victims rescued in 2016 were below the age of 18 years, it said.

Human trafficking, prohibited under Article 23 (1) of the Constitution, includes forced labour, sexual exploitation or prostitution, domestic servitude, forced marriage, begging, adoption, child pornography and organ transplant.

Kids at risk in apartment brothels

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The West Bengal Commission for Protection of Child Rights, in association with the International Justice Mission, on Thursday came up with startling revelations about child prostitution in Kolkata, including the fact that it is more prevalent in residential areas of south Kolkata than anywhere else in the city. And that these minors were repeatedly raped as part of their training at their “workplaces”, which are mostly regular apartments in residential areas. Once “conditioned”, the children had to serve between seven and 18 clients a day, the report said.

The report was released in the presence of senior IPS officers, social workers and those working in the area of human trafficking. The findings said children were sometimes exposed to commercial sex by their own relatives, including their mothers.

The worst part was that it was in residential areas where children, aged between 12 and 17, were mostly made available to clients, and not at established brothels, where only 0.8% of sex-workers were minors. “For nine months, our researchers walked into every possible place in Kolkata, including 16 known brothels and counted the number of kids being used for prostitution,” said Sanjay Macwan, regional director, IJM.


In flats in residential areas, 18% of the sex-workers are children, the study found. A total of 4,143 sex-workers were documented from 451 public establishments (known brothels in areas like Sonagachhi and Kalighat) and 131 sex workers from 40 private places or flats in residential areas.

The trigger for the study were the repeated raids in residential areas of south Kolkata, like Garia, Sonarpur, Behala and Tollygunge, by CID’s antitrafficking department, in association with IJM, in which number of kids were rescued. “The crime is more hidden and organised in private establishments where children are provided to customers and contacts known to pimps,” the report said. The study also found that 77% of these children were lured with jobs. The children interviewed for the study had harrowing tales of how their resistance was broken — the key tactics included repeated rape and acute physical and mental torture. The survivors said they had even witnessed murders of other sex-workers as a warning.

Minor girl raped in Haridwar

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A 16-year-old girl was allegedly raped by her neighbour in Haridwar on Monday. Police have registered a case against the neighbour, 19-year-old Dilip Kumar, who is on the run, under section 376 (rape) of the Indian penal code and under relevant sections of the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) Act.


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According to police, the survivor lived with her family in a slum under jurisdiction of Ranipur police station. The girl’s father is a sanitation worker at a local guest house.
Station house officer Ranipur police station Aishwarya Pal said, “The victim said she was raped by a local boy who knew her family well. He lured her into nearby bushes around 4 pm on Monday and raped her. He threatened her of dire consequences. The duo was spotted by some relatives of the girl who informed her parents.”
The father of the girl then lodged a police complaint. The girl was sent to district hospital for medical examination.

Three arrested for human trafficking

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Pithoragarh, Nov 9 (PTI) Three persons, including a Nepali, were arrested today on charges of trafficking a 17- year-old Nepalese girl from an area under the Jhoolaghat border outpost here in Uttarakhand, an official said.

Bunti and Sahil from Jammu and Raju Parki from Jalati village in Nepals Darchula district were taken into custody by a team of the anti-human trafficking cell, said Brij Mohan Bahuguna, the cells in-charge in Pithoragarh.

They were arrested after they could not answer why they were taking the girl along with them, he said, adding that apparently, the men had lured her on the pretext of marriage and were trafficking her.

The teams suspicion increased when the accused could not establish their relation with the girl. They have confessed that they were taking her to marry her off, Bahuguna claimed.

“We are investigating whether the teenager was being forced by the youths into immoral activities,” he said. PTI CORR ALM ANB ANB

Human trafficking in Assam: Growing fast

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DIG (CID) enumerates gray areas in system for urgent measures

 Be it John Doe or Jane Doe – they may not know whether to cry or laugh – for the news is such a blend of vice and virtue for them. Assam topped the list of States in the nation on the number of human trafficking cases in 2015-16, and in sync with that the State received the best award in 2017 for rescuing as many as 194 trafficked persons, the highest in the nation.

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Needless to say that after drug peddling and gun running, human trafficking is the third most profitable business in India. Human trafficking in Assam has diverse shades for diverse purposes. Trafficking may be through threat, use of force, abduction, fraud and abuse of power, including giving or receiving payments of benefits. Likewise, traffic may be for physical and sexual exploitation and removal of organs that come under Section 370 of IPC. Human trafficking has assumed the status of a fast-growing crime in Assam and its investigation is challenging.
Sharing views and information on human trafficking, State DIG (CID) Raunak Ali Hazarika said: “The victims are mostly from poor families. The agents of a trafficking network are also, in most of the cases, known to the persons being trafficked. This is essentially a business of ‘reposing trust and breaching it’. The agents convince family members that their daughters or sons will be placed in jobs in the metropolitan cities. Trains, buses and waterways are the mostly used modes of transportation by traffickers. Factors responsible for such a fast growth of crimes are poverty, lack of awareness among guardians as well as wards, lack of education, geographical remoteness of Assam and the huge demand of manpower, especially girls, in the metropolitan cities of the country. Communal and ethnic clashes in the State, besides insurgency, also add to the menace. Trafficked girls from Assam are generally sent to North India and South Western India.”
Sharing some information from National Criminal Record Bureau (NCRB), the DIG said: “In 2016-17 Sonitpur district topped the list in the number of trafficking cases in the State. It was followed by Morigaon with 21 cases, Kamrup with 17 cases, Nagoan with 17 cases, Tinsukia with 15 cases, Kamrup(M) with 14 cases and Dhubri with 13 cases. In 2015-16, the State topped the list in the nation on human trafficking with as many as 1,494 cases registered. There might be more cases that were not registered. In some communities, gaonburhas settle such cases and they don’t allow victims or their families to register cases. Such cases are mostly found in Nagaland and Manipur.”
When asked on reasons behind rise in crimes against women in the State, Hazarika said: “The status of women is high in Assam. This apart, women come forward to register cases, registration of false cases, dowry cases, kidnapping, etc., add to the statistics. The inclusion of some abuses like sexual harassment and stalking as crimes against women in 2013 has also raised the number of such cases in the State.”

Spelling out some of the measures taken up to fight the menace, the DIG said every district of the State has an anti-human trafficking unit each manned by an inspector, two sub-inspectors, two head constables, two constables, a social worker, and an official each from Health and Education departments. “We’re imparting regular training to our personnel for their capacity building. We also hold awareness programmes in schools and colleges in collaboration with NGOs. We’ve constructed a task force for suggesting measures to check the menace. Apart from this, there’re coordinating bodies involving stakeholders to monitor such crimes. There are standard operational procedure (SOP) translated into Assamese in each and every police station in the State. In accordance with the Special Juvenile Police Act, the second officer of every police station has to look after child welfare cases,” he said.
The DIG, however, laments that lack of funds is a hurdle, as often as not, on the part of the police to check the menace. “We need shelter homes, medical care, counseling, legal aid and the like for rescued girls. They simply refuse to come back, as more often than not their families refuse to accept them. They like to be where they are on the ground that they can at least eke out their living, no matter how,” he said, and added: “Recruitment of more women police personnel is a must. We need dedicated women cell in every police station, besides more recruitment of civil police. Since people from NGOs and other government officials accompany us in conducting raids against trafficking, NGO people should also be given some incentives so as to encourage them. Maintenance of migration registers in DC and block offices is a must.”