The Dark Realities of Women Trafficking: Exploitation and Illegal Trade

NewsBharati    03-Jul-2024 17:09:30 PM   
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This is a collection of articles that throw light on various aspects of the subject of women trafficking. Some discussions that were part of an international conference on women trafficking are presented in the book. The Maharashtra State Commission organised it for women. Many other articles give the information and insight. The book was published in 2018.

Women Trafficking

At some level, this subject becomes the topic of discussion when a case is reported in the media. A lot has been written and spoken about the grave issue, this is an attempt to bring some facets into discussion again. Many such books remain away from public notice and the sole purpose of presenting small write-ups is to take the information from the bookshelves to public discourse.

The first article is by Dr Pravin Patkar, co-founder of 'Prerana' and the Director Anti Trafficking Resource Centre (ATC) then.

Human trafficking is defined by many international bodies,but there doesn't seem to be much difference if the implications or meaning is considered. The word trafficking is paired with many words to coin a separate term,but all are eloquent enough to convey the meaning and activities related to them. ( From sex trafficking, child trafficking to drug trafficking ) The movement of vehicles is a part of such activities. It has taken a form of trade (?) and money-making at the cost of others.

Human trafficking is usually done by luring, coercion or even by drugging a person. ( These means are criminal) This is unethical, illegal and unacceptable by any standard. Exploitation is at the centre.

This is no doubt faced by the entire world, no country is an exception. ( developed, developing or underdeveloped) Trafficking cannot be equated with prostitution always, it is one of the purposes. Most of the time humans are moved away from the original place, maybe to another country or even a different continent, but sometimes in the big cities,  they may be shifted to another corner. Most of them are exploited by people around them, their original role gets 'transferred'.

Unsafe or helpless people are trapped and trafficked for various unethical practices, religion, race, and creed have no bar.

Hardly any reliable data is available on Trafficking, the data is prepared using reported events,it may be accepted with a lot of caution. The fact is that these practices exist, but the battle against it is fought with vigour at many levels. The victims face exploitation in many ways.

Surprisingly they are carried out in an organised manner ( sometimes described as meticulously ? ), they are treated to be a commodity to earn profit, and the victims may be sold for the purpose. It cannot be described only by the word prostitution as the woman involved is not a sole independent actor dealing with the customer. Usually trafficked women fall into the trap of commercial sexual exploitation, where they become pawns at the hands of someone. There are laws to deal with such heinous crimes no doubt. The author clarifies that there are no separate laws against Trafficking as such in our country, but the laws for destination crimes ( trafficking with purpose) cover such offences.

This is not migration, because it is done voluntarily, people shift to some other area for some reason. ( Maybe some natural calamities or in search of better prospects) On the contrary, the victim has no will or may be trafficked under some pretence. Of course, unsafe migration also sometimes gets unknowingly into trafficking.

In some cases people travel to such destinations where exploitation for sex has minimal risk,( sex tourism) some destinations are known for such activities. This includes domestic as well as international tourism. Unfortunately, children are the main victims in this game. It is flourishing as it is believed to be safe for the person as far as social or legal complications are concerned. Socially unacceptable behaviour is also tolerated in this kind of tourism, and surprisingly a lot of rationalisation is offered by the tourists. With globalisation, travel is easier and so is such entertainment.

Criminal means are adopted for any kind of exploitation, they may be sometimes used as slaves or bonded labourers, but this too is not the sole purpose.

Prostitution is not legal in India, but the definition now includes female, male or transgender.

Acts like making someone available for it, or confining someone for it, running a whorehouse, making a place available for it, and selling sex at some places openly are prohibited. They are covered under various acts.

Trafficking consists of various kinds of trafficking. It may be for commercial sexual exploitation,( at domestic and international level )for the labour sector, or supply chains ( they are not allowed to sell their labour in an open market to get fair returns ). They are made child soldiers, even are made a part of the entertainment industry which may include shady activities. Sometimes humans are used for organ trade, in illegal clinical trials, begging, and children are used for illegal adoption or selling. Young women are forced to be surrogate mothers, in the guise of marriage they are trafficked as free labour or sex providers. Girls or their parents are lured by money for contract marriage. Recently the Lok Sabha candidate Shrimati Madhavilata raised the issue of unfortunate muslim girls who are married several times by foreigners ( read from arab countries) ( who probably are known to her or approached her ). Hariyana too has a shortage of women,( their male-female ratio was in an abysmal state ) ,so brides are to be trafficked from the marginalized sections of society. ( Now it seems the ratio is improving )
Obviously women are worst hit by trafficking, probably because they are one of the unprotected lot of society.

Prof. Vidya Deshpande

Professor Vidya Deshpande has had a journey of more than four decades in the field of education. Her  main expertise is in the subject of Philosophy,  and she has worked as a teacher of philosophy and logic with Nowrosjee Wadia college for 36 years. She has been associated with the Janakalyan Blood bank for last for 38 years and has also carried out the responsibility as a management committee member of Karve Stree Shikshan Sanstha for 10 years. Her special fields of interest are Philosophy of social sciences, school education, development of skills for self reliance,  and top up skills to make students profession ready,