Human Trafficking: Where Do We Stand?

Human Trafficking in Assam | Rising Voices

Human trafficking is a major problem across the globe. In common words, human trafficking means the illegal movement of people. It is the action or practice of illegally transporting people from one country or area to another. Typically human trafficking is there just because of the forced labour, bonded labour, commercial sexual exploitation, organ removal, begging, adoption of children and surrogate mother etc.

As of 2014, forced labor alone generates an estimated USD150 billion in profits worldwide per annum, as per the data from ILO – International Labour Organisation. Human trafficking, to mention, is the third organised crime after drug and arm trade across the globe.

A question might arise here – why human trafficking is a serious problem in India? Simply put, it is because of the widespread poverty, increase in population and vast illiteracy among the lower classes and lower income groups of the society.

There are two factors of human trafficking –  1. The push factor and 2. The pull factor. These factors lead to such inhuman act towards women, children and even men.

The push factor means women and children and even men would not want to leave the place of origin and move on to other places, but undesirable living conditions force them to do so. Such situations make it impossible for them to remain in the present situation. In the hope of a better future, the women get easily trapped in trafficking. The pull factor is there because of the lack of informed choices regarding the place and occupation, making them vulnerable towards trafficking. Limited access to education and information aggravates the situation further.

Human Trafficking

Credit: Media Planet

According to National Crime Record Bureau, among all the 29 states and 7 union territories, Assam shockingly recorded the highest number of human trafficking cases in the country in 2015. Interestingly there were no single cases registered in Sikkim, Manipur and Mizoram for human trafficking in that year.

The author conducted an interview of the chairperson of Assam State Commission for protecting of Child Right, Ms. Rumuni Gogoi and got some interesting facts about the human trafficking scene in Assam.

Author asked her if she thinks it to be an alarming & shocking situation for Assam that we are the number one state in human trafficking?

According to the chairperson, it is not that shocking as human trafficking is not a recent thing. The problem has always been there since quite a long time. But now, due to better communication systems and the advanced coordination between the Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Govt Railway Police (GRP), the issues are reported in a speedier way than ever before.

Strict checking at railway stations and proper investigations are done when the law enforcing agencies come across any suspect. Strict punishment are imposed and as a result the current percentage of human trafficking compared to the past has reduced by a heavy amount.

In case of Assam, mostly the girls from the Tea tribes are being lured away and trafficked. Lower level of education, poor living conditions, low level of income etc. can be linked to this.

The GOI applies the Criminal Law Act 2013 (amended), applicable from 3rd February 2013, as well as Section 370 and 370A IPC, which defines human trafficking and provides rigorous punishment for any act of human trafficking; trafficking of children for exploitation of any kind including physical; or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude or the forced removal of any body organs.

Though the respective forces under the helm of technological advancements are becoming more alert and active than ever before, yet there is a gap between enactment and enforcement of the law because of widespread corruption in the society.

So it is the duty of a citizen of the country to be alert and ready to fight against human trafficking in the best possible ways and contribute towards the elimination of this felony. Above all, attitude towards women and young girls must be changed.


Farzana Latif is a student of Mass Communication and Journalism (MCJ) From Guwahati University IDOL.
She’s a former sales & marketing executive at HDFC Bank Ltd. and presently a house-maker.
At the age of 40, she is not just trying to learn new things, but also trying to spread the fragrance of love, joy, laughter wherever she goes.