Human trafficking is the third largest organized crime after drugs and the arms trade across the globe. According to the definition of the United Nations – “trafficking is any activity leading to recruitment, transportation, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or a position of vulnerability”. Close to 80% of the human trafficking across the world is done for sexual exploitation and the rest is for bonded labor and India is considered as the hub of this crime in Asia. As per the statistics of the government – in every eight minutes a child goes missing in our country. In 2011 about 35,000 children were reported missing and more than 11,000 out of these were from West Bengal. Further, it is assumed that only 30% of the total cases are reported, so the actual number is pretty high.
Human trafficking is one of the major problems in India. Till date, no concrete study has been conducted so far to know the exact number of trafficked kids in India. The New York Times has reported on the widespread problem of human trafficking in India especially in the state of Jharkhand. Also in the report, it is stated that young girls are trafficked from neighbouring Nepal to India. In another article published in The Times of India – Karnataka is the third state in India for human trafficking. Other South Indian states are also the most sought-after destinations for human trafficking. Every year more than 300 such cases are reported in each of the four south Indian states. Whereas West Bengal and Bihar, on an average have 100 such cases each year. As per the data, more than half of the human trafficking cases are from these states. According to the latest report on human trafficking by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime reveals that Tamil Nadu has 528 such cases of human trafficking in 2012. The number is really high and more than any other state except for West Bengal (549). As per the data from Home Ministry, 1379 cases of human trafficking were reported from Karnataka in the period of four years, in Tamil Nadu the number is 2,244 whereas Andhra Pradesh has 2,157 cases of human trafficking. Recently 300 bonded labourers in Bangalore have been rescued. According to an article in the First post, Delhi is the hub of human trafficking trade in India and half of the world’s slaves live in India. Delhi is the hotspot for illegal trade of young girls for domestic labour, forced marriage and prostitution. Delhi is also the transit point for human trafficking.
Kids especially the girl and young women, mostly from Northeast are taken from their homes and sold in faraway states of India for sexual exploitation and to work as bonded labour by the agents who lure their parents with education, better life, and money for these kids. Agents do not send these kids to school but sell them to work in brick kilns, carpentry units, as domestic servants, beggars etc. Whereas girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation. Even these girls are forced to marry in certain regions where female to male sex ratio is highly disturbed. Children from tribal areas are at greater risk of human trafficking. Recently there were cases of human trafficking in which most of the children were from the Kuki tribe in Manipur’s Tamenglong district. Reason for this was the tribal clashes that let the human trafficking to prosper. The conflict between the Kukis and Nagas tribe in Northeast region between 1992 and 1997 left many kids homeless. These kids were taken by agents to the other parts of the country.