Globalisation and Trafficking of Women and Children

Abstract: One of the major problems of recent times after globalisation is the alarming proportion of trafficking of women and children for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Trafficking is one of the worst forms of human rights violation. Adolescent girls from marginalised families are the most vulnerable. In today’s world hundreds of women and children are trafficked in the name of jobs, domestic work, film roles or marriage with a better life. Today trafficking generates more money than even arms trade or drugs trade. Young girls in any society are the wealth and the future women who need nurturing and protection and hence need we need to wake up to this issue and take it with all the seriousness it deserves. Trafficking in women and children has severely negative consequences for the women and societies involved. It is an issue that involves both gender and basic human rights abuses.

Keywords: trafficking, international human rights, organised crime, AIDS/HIV, Victim of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (VOCSE), Health Care Programme, sex workers, global sex trade, forced labour, prostitution , marginalised women

The issue of trafficking is complex, deep, insidious, corrupt and multifaceted involving criminal enforcement. It is the vilest form of crime since it consists of using persons as merchandise that might be the source of gain for the trafficker, the one who sells the person and the one who buys her in to profit from her prostitution. The nature of this work is such that there is a chain of people who live out of the sexual exploitation of a single woman or girl. Trafficking is prevalent at various levels, local, inter-district, inter-state and cross border. It is estimated that there are at least 8 million women and children in prostitution. About 25% or some two million of them are children.More chilling is the fact that not only is child trafficking on the increase, but also that they are being victimised at a lower age. Today trafficking in women emerged as the most important issue on women’s agenda- violence against women.

Defining Trafficking

Trafficking has been defined by the UN General Assembly statement 1994 as, ‘The illicit and clandestine movement of persons across national borders largely from developing countries and some countries with economies in transition, the end goal of women and children into sexually or economically oppressive and exploitative situation of recruiters, traffickers and crime syndicates as well as other illegal activities related to trafficking, such as labour, false marriages, clandestine employment and false adoption.’ The U.N. protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children defines trafficking as, ‘The recruitment, transportation, transfer harbouring or receipt of persons by means of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception of the abuse of power or of a position of giving or receiving payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person for the purpose of exploitation. (

Women’s Movement and the Feminist Approaches to the Issue of Trafficking

It was during the end of the nineteenth century and the early decades of the twentieth century that feminists all over the world raised their voices against trafficking of women across international boundaries for the purpose of prostitution and highlighted this issue. However it was only in the 1990s that trafficking in women was recognised as an organised enterprise by local and international criminal groups that use frauds and violence to entice and employment women (Kempadoo and Doezenma, 1998, Skrobanek et.all, 1997). Women’ groups and academics first drew public attention to the phenomenon and to its cruel and exploitative nature, pointing out the ongoing practice of buying and selling women and children as property and their sexual and violent abuse i addition to their horrific living conditions. These were investigations on the scene carried out by NGO groups and academics. The media was also instrumental in exposing the exploitative and criminal characteristic of the business and its roots in international organised crime (Outshoorn, 2004). Unlike the issue of prostitution, trafficking received a lot of media attention and the attention of the NGOs and the women’s movement.

In western discourses prostitution is often referred to as the oldest profession, which exists universally across time and place and occurring due to male sexual drives. Radical feminists however have questioned the masculine biologism which they say helps perpetuate the oppression of women by normalising prostitution. Barry has argued that sex is power over all women and sexuality is used worldwide to dominate and oppress women (Barry, 1995, 11). Prostitution is the cornerstone of all sexual exploration and any consent of women or prostitution should be disregarded because choice and consent is not possible or women under conditions of male domination (Barry, 1995,23). Jeffreys describes prostitution as a form of brutal cruelty on the part of the men that institutes a violation of women’s human rights whenever and however it takes place (Jeffreys, 1997, 339). Radical feminist’s approaches to prostitution deny the possibility of women’s agency in relation to prostitution and they decline to gage in the marketing process in relation to prostitution. To them men dominate and all women are subordinate, oppressed and unfree. They are not able to unravel and understand the complexity or mark the difference between rape and prostitution, trafficking and migrant sex work, free and forced labour.

Another group of feminists emphasise the ordinariness of sex workers and the work of prostitution. Such a description can he used to resist the dominant representation of prostitution as abnormal and bad women as those who lack moral discrimination, sell their bodies and deserve punishment. These feminists that this sort of approach, rather an outright and principled opposition to prostitution calls attention to the possibilities of resisting power and dominant sensations of prostitution ( Sullivan, 1995, 184-92). Kempadoo also highlights the role of women’s agency. She argues that the frameworks for understanding the global sex trade at so need to take in to account the empowerment of women who strategically use their sexual labour to contest colonial oppressions, to secure a place in the modern world and to advance international campaign for sex workers rights ( Kempadoo, 2001, 43).

Consequently, under feminist impetus, a series of international agreements opted between 1903 and 1949 (Jeffreys, 1997,7-34). The United Nations Convention for the suppression of the traffics in person and the exploitation of prostitution and others popularly referred to as 1949 Trafficking Convention declared that trafficking was incompatible with the dignity and the worth of the person and endangered the welfare of the individual, the family and the community. By 1996 only seventy one countries had signed it and this achieved terms of combating trafficking. There was no unit within the United Nations that had responsibility for monitoring compliance with the convention (Chiang, 1999,348). It was only recently that a comprehensive international approach to trafficking came about as a result of the United Nations Trafficking protocol of 2000. The preamble of the document says that it aims to assist in the development of a comprehensive international approach to trafficking. Despite the existence of a variety of international instruments containing rules and practical measures to combat the exploitation of persons, especially women and children, there is no universal instrument that addresses all aspects of trafficking of persons. In the absence of this instrument the internationally recognised human rights of those vulnerable to trafficking are insufficiently protected. This protocol identifies the main cause of trafficking to be poverty, underdevelopment and lack of equal opportunities. Scholars see some problems in the definition of trafficking incorporated in the 2000 Trafficking protocol. One of the most obvious is that the definition of trafficking it adopts, undermines the potential effectiveness of the protocol as a measure addressed to the patterns of forced labour including forced prostitution to which women are most vulnerable and supporting the labour rights of sex workers. However the protocol also has strengths. It establishes some new rights for trafficking victims and requires states to work to prevent trafficking (in part by addressing poverty and discrimination against women. An international law has an important constitutive effect on domestic law and the construction of meaning and possibility in the global domain, and hence the trafficking protocol is likely to have a significant worldwide impact on the status of women (Sullivan,2003, 86)

It is very difficult to give exact figures about the actual numbers of women and girls involved in trafficking. Besides, this trafficking of women and children is just the end result of a long chain, which involves a large number of persons. Whenever we talk of trafficking, three aspects that need to be focussed are transit, destination and the whole supply chain and only then can the issue be understood in its various dimensions. The girl being trafficked is only one of the constituents of this and focusing just on her, will not help in understanding the issue. Trafficking is a very dynamic business and newer forms of exploitation are discovered every day. Since commercial sex work is carried out right across the country in hotels, brothels, lodges, cinema halls, parks, along major roads and highways as a traditional profession, it is impossible to provide actual facts and figures. Added to this is the fact that apart from regular operators, there are also such fonts of prostitution as that of contract workers, call girls, part time operators seeking supplementary income, escort service, etc. The very nature of this business , requires it to be conducted with a certain ambiguity and secretiveness. Earlier, prostitution was centralised but now it is becoming more and more decentralised. There is a close relation between trafficking and the spread of the AIDS epidemic and this means that we are sitting on a time bomb. Hence this issue deserves all our attention and it is high time we started giving it serious consideration.

Socio- Economic Issues in Exploitation

Trafficking is a multi dimensional problem encompassing a whole range of economic, social and cultural issues which are varied and highly complex. Most of the victims are trafficked with the promise of better jobs, better career prospects and marriage. Some are inducted forcibly through abduction. Poverty and deprivation, secondary status accorded to women in society, prejudice against the girl child, weakening of the family structure, changing public attitude towards sex and mortality, the caste structure, urbanisation, migration and the growing consumerism are some of the factors that have contributed to trafficking. Economic impoverishment provides the ideal ground for- exploitation. It is no surprise therefore that nearly 70% of victims come from drought-prone areas (The Velvet Blouse, NCW, 1997), Apart from trafficking, traditional forms of prostitution such as Joginis, Marthammas, Dommarras, and Basarvis etc are prevalent within Andhra Pradesh. Children and especially girls who are child labourers and bonded, are directly at a risk of being sexually exploited.

Globalisation and Trafficking

The dominance of rich nations, multinational corporations and international capital over markets, resources and labour in the developing countries through trade, aid and technology transfer greatly weakened the capacity of nation states and governments to promote human development and offer protection to the poor people. The worst hit in this transformation is the oganised sector, marked with income disparity and dominated by the poor under privileged and among them the women (Pande, 2001, 1). The liberalisation of the economy in the wake of globalisation has vastly diminished traditional means of livelihood for the poor. There is strong evidence to show contemporary process of globalisation with emphasis on technical change in agriculture associated with higher capital intensity, greater mechanisation of production and post harvest operations, the development of crop and livestock with varied characteristics geared to the requirement of commercial commodity production has been accompanied by changes which women experience in unique ways (Pande, 2000, 409). The conversion of large tracts of agricultural land for commercial aqua production, the diminishing viability of traditional livelihood skills, lack of education and skills for alternative means of income all reduce such victims to a situation where there is no other option but to enter into sex trade.

Child Trafficking

Another important aspect of trafficking is that it increasingly involves young girls sometimes as young as eight and nine years old. There is a widely held belief that sex with children, specially virgins, will cure sexually transmitted diseases, and also prevent one from contracting AIDS. However, these children are underdeveloped physically and can contract and transmit these diseases more easily. The high cost of sex with children and virgins also denotes that child prostitution must necessarily be indulged in by the middle or upper classes society. Child trafficking can engender a sexualised perception of life in the child, Besides this, it also engenders the abuser in the child, since victims more often than not have a tendency to become abusers in their turn. The figures and facts recounted by Pinky Virani in her book Bitter Chocolate demonstrate that sexual abuse of children at home must indeed be a major factor contributing to the everr growing numbers of children being trafficked for sexual abuse.

The majority of the children involved in trafficking are already HIV positive. It is also true that increasing numbers of children who are orphaned because of AIDS are in fact being trafficked for sexual exploitation as they are without any protection and support. This in turn accelerates the transmission of the HIV virus and is an important contributing factor to the growing menace of AIDS in India. Andhra Pradesh today is already emerging as one of the most infected states and its HIV victim population is fast increasing, which is most certainly related to increased trafficking within and from this state.

The Victim

The woman or girl who is being trafficked has few, if no options. She does not suffer from starvation in the literal sense, but her starvation is a psychological one. There is a lot of vulnerability in this and poverty is a major factor though it is true that all poor do not become sexually exploited. There is a lot of deception, force and coercion involved and often the young girl has a very painful initiation into the whole system. Both psychological and physical means are forced upon new girls purchased for the brothel. Debt bondage is enforced by the near total confinement of the women and girls in the brothel premises. Tips provide the only source of income for most new comers to the brothel. Without tips, girls are entirely dependent on the brothel owner for food, sometimes only one meal a day. The victim works in a very exploitative structure because nearly seven to eight people live off her earnings and often she gets a pittance. She is often in debt and after a few years she suffers from various diseases and is open to many illnesses and sexual infections. There is a lot of systematic abuse because when she is not able to function she becomes a procurer and the perpetrator of the crime and a brothel madam. When she goes to the village she is no stranger and everyone trusts her and is willing to send their daughters along with her in search of a better means of livelihood than what their village can procure. Once the girl is inducted into the trade she is forced to ink and smoke because she cannot otherwise survive her ordeal and in due course of time she becomes addicted. When caught and there are attempts at reform she develops symptoms of withdrawal and becomes abusive and aggressive. Restoration to her family becomes a dim possibility because the family is not willing to take her back. What one can attempt is to rehabilitate them through trauma care, livelihood options and looking at the issue from a human rights perspective. There should be a focus or prevention for the second generation.

Law and Trafficking

India is a signatory to most international human rights instruments relevant to trafficking in persons and trafficking in women and children. These include the Convention for the suppression of traffic in persons, Trafficking Convention, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and anti slavery Conventions. It has also ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All forms discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Convention of the Rights of the Child (CRC). Article 34 and 35 of the CRC directs State parties to take all appropriate national, bilateral and multinational measures to prevent the abduction, sale or traffic of children for any purpose or in any form and specially charges signatories with the protection of children from sexual exploitation and abuse. The Indian constitution also prohibits trafficking in persons. Article 23 of the Fundamental Rights states that traffic in human beings and other similar forms of forced labour are prohibited. Article 39 guarantees equal treatment of men women and obligates the state to ensure that the health and strength of workers, men and women and children are not abused and that all children are protected against exploitation. Article 42 provides protection against inhuman working conditions.

The two principal laws that address trafficking and prostitution are the oppression of Immoral Traffic of Women and Girls Acts of 1956 (SITA) and the Immoral Traffic in Persons Prevention Act of 1986 (ITPPA) but colloquially called as PITA as an amendment to SITA. Neither law prohibits prostitution per se, but both target the female practitioner of prostitution. The language of the law defined prostitution as female, thereby exempting males in prostitution from criminalisation. While a woman arrested for soliciting could be imprisoned for a year, a pimp is imprisoned for three months and the men are let off scot free. This law addressed only street prostitution and the prostitution behind closed doors was left alone. ITPPA recognises nine punishable conditions, including brothel keeping, living off brothel earnings, procuring, detaining, activity in the vicinity of public places, seducing or soliciting. It hence recognises that men and children can also be sexually exploited. While it expands police power to prevent trafficking. It also recognises the potential abuse of power, such as verbal, physical and sexual harassment by police during raids.

Flaws in the Implementation of Trafficking Laws

Implementation of laws relating to trafficking of women and children and child protection reveals various flaws in the implementation process as well as non- implementations of various important aspects of law. In the existing trafficking low, in section 13, there is a provision of appointment of Special Police Unit to enforce the law but this provision remains only in the statute book and is ignored by most of the states in India. There is no definition of trafficking in the existing laws, giving opportunity to the offenders, to escape from criminal activity. The existing trafficking law is accused oriented, ignoring the rights of the victims. There is a provision of the Special Court for trial of trafficking cases, but no such courts are being constituted.

The priority placed by our law enforcement agency on illegal immigration has resulted in the treatment of cross-border trafficking as criminal activity. When police raid brothels, women are often detained and punished and subjected to human rights abuses in jail. Few victims dare testify against the traffickers or those who hold them fearing retribution for themselves and their families, since on most occasions the prosecutors do not offer stays of deportation or adequate protection for witnesses. In some cases Police and other governmental authorities accept bribes and collude with traffickers by selling fake documentation.

Trafficking is now a problem that affects virtually every country in the world, Generally, the flow of trafficking is from less developed countries to ore developed countries or towards neighbour i rig countries with marginally higher standards of living. Trafficking is as organised criminal activities and also a trans-national organised crime, but our criminal justice system and the laww enforcement agency is not equipped to combat such organised crime of trafficking. In some cases police and other governmental authorities accept bribes collude with traffickers by selling fake documentation.

Trafficking in Andhra Pradesh

Andhra Pradesh has emerged as the largest supplier of women and children sexual exploitation. A survey conducted by the National Commission for Women in 1997 projects approximately 40% representation for Andhra Pradesh in the sex trade. Yet another survey notes a 24% representation, still the largest supply zone. These and other surveys also conclude that 25% of all trafficked victims are children.

It has been revealed in a study by HELP, an NGO that in the coastal regions of the state more than 26% entered the profession between the age of 6 years; 20% between 16-18 years and 16% before the age of 14 years. Against the widely accepted definition of a child as one below 18 years of age, that 60 of the victims are subjected to sexual exploitation as children. (Report, APPA, 2005, 56).

Another study by Prajwala not only has similar findings but also shows that this is true for the whole state. It shows that there are large numbers of women and children trafficked into cities and towns across the country from AP. Data from Goa, Mumbai, Delhi, Calcutta, Lattur, Yavatmal, Chandrapur, Mahabalipuram show the extent of the trafficking from Andhra Pradesh. Andhra accounts for 25-85% of the victims in these centres (Report, APPA, 2005, 56)

It must however be noted that trafficking is prevalent at various levels- local,district, inter-state and cross-border. Intel-state trafficking is smaller and inter-district trafficking. Cross border trafficking from A.P. mostly occur in the form of contract marriages to the Middle East. About 70% of victims come from groups that live below the poverty line and an equal number belong to the Scheduled Castes and Backward Castes. This indicates that a combination of social and economic factors, discrimination in family and society play a major victimisation of women and children.

These grim realities must be seen against the development indicators for Andhra Pradesh:

• High infant mortality rate (on par with national average)

• Lowest birth registration: 6% only in Mahaboobnagar District

• 38% of children under 3 years being malnourished

• Literacy lower than the national average

• 50% of girls married before the age of 15 years

• Highest prevalence of child labour in the country.

• High prevalence of bonded labourers ( Report, APPA, 2005, 56).

A report by the Indian Health organisation reveals that 8 of children in prostitution ran away from home because of incest in the family. Sexual abuse of children is very much an unexplored territory. However, studies done so far reveal that 60-80% of all children suffer some form of sexual exploitation before the age of 14 years. And in most cases the abuser is from within the family o from known and trusted circles in society.

Trafficking Networks in Andhra Pradesh

With the rise of AIDS in Andhra Pradesh, we need to focus attention o trafficking also. There are four important networks of trafficking from Andhra Pradesh. These are-

Mumbai Network: This consists of four chains. The first one is from Guntur, Vishakapatnam, East Godavari to Vijaywada, Hyderabad and Mumbai. The second direct from Hyderabad to Mumbai. The third, from Cuddapah, Guntakal to Mumbai. The fourth, from Vijaywada, Warangal, Karimnagar, Nizamabad and Khammam to Hyderabad and Mumbai.

Delhi Network: The first one is from Anantpur to Daund, Bangalore, Hyderabad to Delhi. The second, from Guntakal, Warangal and Tirupati to Delhi. The third, from Chittor to Vijaywada, Warangal, Tirupati, Delhi and the fourth, Kurnool to Warangal to Delhi. East Godavari to West to Vizag, Hyderabad to Delhi.

The Kolkota Network: The first from Bapatla, Vizag to Rajmundary to Ongole to Vijaywada to KoJkota. The second from Anantpur to Bangalore to Hyderabad to Kolkotta.

Goa Network: The first, Kumool, Hyderabad to Guntakal, to Hubli, Londa to Vasco. The second from Eluru, Tadpatalligudam, Ongole, Chilakaluripet, Medmetta, Mangalgiri, Machalipatnam, Vizianagaram to Vijaywada to Vasco. The third Kakinada, Rajmundary to Samalkot to Vijaywada to Vasco. The fourth, Vijaywada to Vasco.

A two day Workshop on ‘Trafficking in Persons and the Role of the Police” by Andhra Pradesh Police Academy and Osinania University on 18th and 19th of July, 2005 constituted a small task group to look into this issue in detail. Generally a girl is booked and the traffickers are let off scot free, to recruit another woman or child and there is no attempt at breaking the entire network. In this workshop it was agreed that henceforth the position of the prostitute would be altered and she would be treated as a victim rather than an accused. The term used for the prostitute would be VOCSE, Victim of Commercial Sexual Exploitation. Similarly when a person is rescued from a brothel, such an operation should be called rescue and not raid ( Report, APPA, 2005,19-20).

Trafficking and AIDS

WHO estimated in 1995 that in India as many as 1.5 milion people may be infected with the HIV virus, with the state of Maharashtra leading the nation IV infections (Reuters, 1995). The Indian Council for Medical Research, estimates that there are a total of about one million commercial sex workers in India, predicts that there will be around 2.5 million sexually transmitted HIV infections in India by 2000. As per UNAIDS, at the end of 2004, there will million people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHAs) in the world. 5.13 million infections and 3.1 million deaths occurred in the year 2004. Today AIDS is third biggest killer in the world. Everyday, 14,000 new infections occur, of these, 2,000 infections below 14 years age (primarily through vertical transmission). Out of the 12,000 infections occurring at the age of 15 years above, 50% of infections (i.e, 6,000) occur in the age group of 15-24 years with young people at the centre of the epidemic. The first reported case of HIV/AIDS in India was detected in Chennai in 1986. The estimated number of HIV positive people in India is 5.13 million (1/9th of the Global HIV infections).

The HIV Prevalence rate is 0.9%. India’s epidemic is strikingly diverse among and within states. HIV is a generalised epidemic in Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamilnadu, Manipur and Nagaland. There is a close relationship between trafficking and the spread of AIDS. According to a study APSACS, from April 2004 to March 2005, 15.5% of those tested statewide were found to be positive (Report, Facts and Figures, 2005, 9). This is predictable and inevitable epidemic. It starts with sex workers, or drug users and is a Low Level Epidemic. Then it crosses 5% to reach to bridge population (mobile, population, clients of sex workers, bi-sexual man) and is a Concentrated epidemic. Finally it reaches 1 % among the general population and by now it is a Generalised epidemic.

The spread of AIDS and awareness about it has effected trafficking in more than one way. There is a demand for more young girls, who can be sold as virgins and therefore AIDS free. There is also more customer demand for clean girls, particularly virgins. Girls who test positive for AIDS are immediately dismissed and visibly sick and without money are either ostracised by their families or unwilling to go home. A newspaper reports an infected girl saying ‘I am not living even now. So how does it matter if I die’ (The Times of India, 1994,5). These women are powerless to negotiate any terms of sex in order protect themselves from HIV infection. They have virtually no say over whether or not to service a particular customer, how many customers to accept in a particular day, condom use, etc. (Human Rights Watch, 1995,66).

Strategies to Deal with the Issue of Trafficking

Securing state accountability for violation of fundamental human right is an essential element of human rights protection. An environment of increase awareness of violence against women and children has to be created to focus attention on the issue of trafficking. Concrete steps need to be taken for controlling the trade, curbing the involvement of citizens in trafficking and sexual exploitation, addressing the issue of official complicity and protecting the women and girls from victimisation. A multifaceted approach with various legislative, administrative and preventive measures is necessary to deal with the complex issue of trafficking.

Legislative Measures

There should be a wide definition of trafficking in the trafficking law i.e. in Section 208 IPTA in the line of recommendation of the commission of the Human Rights of U N Economic and Social Council and SAARC Convention. The present provisions of IPTA recognize the ordinary magistrate court or special courts as appropriate forum for the trail of trafficking cases. There should be a provision of Special Court in each district to deal with all trafficking cases. Children’s Homes under Juvenile Justice Act, and Protection Home of the Trafficked Children need to be combined for the child in need of care and protection. The definition and ingredients of different offences in the trafficking law needs to be widened and be made more specific to include varied form of trafficking of children. The punishment prescribed for offences relating to trafficking of children is to be enhanced to the extent of life imprisonment and of properties and money earned by committing or aiding offence of trafficking of children. Legislation, which is also related to prevent trafficking of children such as Foreigners Act. Emigration Act, 1963, Extradition Act, 1962, are to be suitably amended as schedule with a new legislation in era ticking in the line of Information Technology Act 2000. A comprehensive legislation on trafficking be undertaken which will be self-contained in both substantive and procedural aspects. The personnel and officers empowered to implement trafficking law be assigned specific powers and obligation for aberrations and negligence of duties. The legal machinery and the framework contemplated in Juvenile Justice Act has to be linked up with the law relating to trafficking of children and to prevent other forms of abuse and exploitation of children.

Trafficking also involves violations of other laws, including labour laws, immigration laws, and laws relating to kidnapping, abduction, slavery, false imprisonment, assault, battery, fraud, and extortion. Hence the definitions of these offences and the relevant legal process under Indian Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code need review and necessary amendment in this regard.

Administrative Measures

The Government has to reform its prostitution and trafficking laws so that they are non discriminatory and in line with international human rights standards, particularly those designed to protect the victims of trafficking.

The government should investigate and prosecute all those involved in trafficking and brothel operations, with particular attention to its own police and officials who receive pay offs or protection money from brothel owners and agents who patronize brothels, have financial holdings in, collect rent or in any other way are complicit in the operation of such brothels. The implementing agency in the cut has to increase economic opportunities for potential victims and improve infra-structural facilities to provide maximum services needed to the victims of trafficking. There is a need to provide shelter and support services to vitims of cross-border trafficking who are in this country unlawfully and are ineligble for assistance. Efforts should be made to establish an Inter-agency task Force or National Task Force to monitor and combat trafficking and the Secretary, Home Department, of each State to establish programs and initiatives to assist in the safe integration, reintegration, or resettlement of victims of trafficking and their children, as well as victims of cross-border trafficking without regard to such victims. Efforts have to be made to create Trafficking Victims Assistance Fund from the sale of assets seised from and forfeited by appropriate authority under Trafficking Law under disposal of Task Forces to be constituted under the law. It should be made obligatory part of the concerned government department to include in its Annual information on trafficking, including a list of foreign countries that are countries of origin, transit, or destination for a significant number of victims of cross-border trafficking government and the follow up. There should be efforts to necessary steps to disseminate information to increase public awareness trafficking dangers and include the issue of trafficking in the education curriculum at school, college and university level education.

Efforts need to be made to provide proper training and orientation of personnel involved in preventing and combating trafficking of women children. There is a need to focus on official corruption in dealing with cases or matters incidental to trafficking of children as the crime is increasingly perpetrated by organised, sophisticated criminal gangs. Such trafficking is the fast growing source of profits for organised criminal enterprise worldwide. Nexus between official s and traffickers contribute to the expansion of the organic crime of child trafficking. This should be highlighted. Trafficking exposes victims to serious health risks. Children trafficked in the sex industry are exposed to deadly diseases, including HIV and AIDS. So there should be a proper health care programme for trafficked victims.

Research studies have indicated that young women and children of backward areas without much opportunity for income and natural disaster prone places are major victims of such crimes. Therefore with improved capacity building, employment opportunity, health services, educational facilities, means of livelihood in rural areas along with knowledge, information, warning/caution strong vigilance of public and panchayat leaders, local administration can definitely minimize the incidences of such offence because without active local connivance and support, trafficking of children is extremely difficult, if not impossible.

Child sexual abuse which is widely prevalent but hardly reported, is one that encompasses many forms of sexual activity between a child and an old person, most often known to the victim. This is accompanied by physical force or by coercion and the child who is abused so goes through a severe psychological trauma combined with the trauma of having been betrayed by a trusted person who is supposed to care for and protect the child. It is unfortunate that there is general unwillingness to acknowledge the extent of child sexual abuse in on society. By extending a more positive service of juvenile and non-abusive childen rearing services of Welfare Committee under Juvenile Justice, this practice of child abuse can be minimised.

Preventive Strategy

More than cure, prevention is the best measure to tackle crime against and children. Top priority needs to be given to encouraging attitudes will lead to a reduction in women and child abuse. There is a need to non-violent and non-abusive child rearing practices and ideas in the Promoting and commissioning research on violence against women, abuse and neglect is also required. There is a need to develop primary and secondary prevention strategies to reduce the incidence of child abuse and neglect. Families and family ties through family counselling will go a long in dealing with this abuse. Efforts are needed to improve the income, health housing so that parents’ ability to care for children can be enhanced.

A three layered approach needs to be developed to deal with the issue of trafficking. Primary prevention refers to programs targeted at the whole community with the aim at stopping abuse before it starts. It encompasses both and adults by including such strategies as mass media advertising, through the publication of pamphlets and personal safety programs Secondary prevention refers to programs which target specific of the population considered to be more at risk of abuse and in greater of support, Example of such programs are young parent support services, single parent services and respite services, including crisis care. Tertiary refers to intervention to help these children, who have already been abused, with the aim of preventing its recurrence, as for example, providing to cater to the needs of abused children and their families.

Trafficking is tantamount to slavery and physical abuse. These women and held as victims in debt bondage for years are also subjected to other forms to severe beatings, exposure to AIDS and arbitrary imprisonment.

There has to be a human rights approach to the whole issue. The government has its responsibility in preventing trafficking. It cannot escape its by continuing to see this as a flesh trade and an unfortunate social roots in poverty. With globalisation and displacement of poor people, has today become an enormously profitable industry- one that will not the international security and pressure. The linkages between AIDS have to be understood. A multi faceted approach needs to be developed to deal with this issue in its various dimensions.

In trying to mainstream women in the development dialogue process prevention and control of trafficking of women and girls is an utmost necessity. Establish programs and initiatives to assist in the safe integration, reintegration or resettlement of victims of trafficking and their children. Moreover, in view of increasing trends of cross-border trafficking assistance to victims should be provided without regard to such victims’ immigration status; the immigration status should not stand in the way of any benefit that may be due to them under the government programme.


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Skrobanek, S. Nataya, Boonpakdee and Chutima Jantareero. (1997), The Traffic in Women : Human Realities and the International Sex Trade, Sed Books, London.

Sullivan, Barbara. (1995), ‘Rethinking Prostitution’ in Barbara Caine and Rosemary Pringle (eds), Transitions. New Australian Feminisms, Allens and Unwin, Sydney.

Sullivan, Barbara. (2003), ‘Trafficking in Women, Feminism and New International Law’, International Feminist Journal of Politics, 5.1: 67-91.

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REKHA PANDE. Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad, India. Her work on the history medieval India has received wide attention.

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Director of the Centre for Women’s Studies at Maulana Azad National Urdu University in Hyderabad, India. Her work on the history medieval India has received wide attention.

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