Human trafficking too high in India, says US
The US Department of State in its ‘2022 Trafficking in Persons’ report has stated that India does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
Published: 01st March 2023 08:02 AM | Last Updated: 01st March 2023 03:47 PM | A+A A-
NEW DELHI: The US Department of State in its ‘2022 Trafficking in Persons’ report has stated that India does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. It also has stated that 22 of India’s 36 states and Union Territories (UTs) did not report identifying any bonded labour victims or filing any cases under the relevant rules even as the acquittal rate for traffickers remained at 89 per cent.
The report has also stated that the government did not report investigating, prosecuting, or convicting government officials for alleged involvement in trafficking crimes.
The report, released recently, has also expressed dismay as the government did no updates to its national action plan (NAP) to combat trafficking in persons or amend Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code to remove the requirement of force, fraud, or coercion to prove child sex trafficking.
It said the lack of sufficient political will across many states to address bonded labour stymied efforts nationwide. Citing figures, the report states that 6,622 trafficking victims in 2022 were reported identified; in addition, there were 694 potential trafficking victims.
In 2019, it said, 5,145 trafficking victims and 2,505 potential victims were identified.
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In 2020, the government identified 5,156 victims in labour trafficking, including 2,837 in bonded labour and 1,466 in sex trafficking but the government did not report the type of trafficking for the 694 potential victims in 2020.
The US Department of State report, quoting the Ministry of Labour and Employment’s annual report, stated that despite about 8 million Indians estimated to be in bonded labour, the ministry in its report has stated that the government had identified and rescued only 3,13,962 people since 1976.
“Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and UP accounted for the majority of bonded labour victims identified in 2020 with 1,291 from Karnataka, 289 from Tamil Nadu and 1,026 from Uttar Pradesh respectively,” the report says.
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Far from meeting standards: State Dept
- In 2022: 6,622 trafficking victims were reported to have been identified; in addition, 694 were identified as potential victims.
- In 2019: 5,145 trafficking victims and 2,505 potential trafficking victims were identified.
- In 2020: The government identified 5,156 victims in ‘labour trafficking’, including 2,837 in bonded labour and 1,466 in sex trafficking. But the government did not report the type of trafficking for the 694 potential victims in 2020.
- Some traffickers kidnap children from public places, including railway stations, entice girls with drugs, and force girls as young as 5 years old to take hormone injections to appear older for sex trafficking.
- The traffickers also kidnap and force Indian and Nepali women and girls to work as ‘orchestra dancers’ in India, especially in Bihar, where girls perform with dance groups until they have repaid fabricated debts.
- Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Odisha, and Uttar Pradesh were major source states for economically vulnerable workers potentially exposed to labour trafficking.
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