Human Trafficking: An Exploitation in Modern Society

Human Trafficking: An Exploitation in Modern Society

Author: Sariyah Khan,

Integral University,
Third year/ BALLB .

Human Trafficking is among the most severe and brutal form of human rights violations. Human trafficking is defined as the transportation, fostering, or reception of people for the purpose of sexual exploitation through threats, coercion, abduction, or deception. Human trafficking, particularly among women and children, has developed as a significant social issue which is one of the most heinous affronts to human dignity. It is the grave exploitation and monetization of the lives of innocent people. Despite the fact that it is a worldwide crime, India, like many other South Asian countries, is rapidly being exploited as a source, transport hub, and endpoint for traffickers. Human Trafficking involves violations  as well as defeat of human rights. It is not only the human rights which  are responsible  but the society and institutions are also at fault. The duties of traffickers get easier in the face of rising criminality and strong patriarchal norms. As a result, human trafficking of women and children, is a serious crime that infringes human rights principles.

Causes of Human Trafficking:

Poverty: One of the major cause to human trafficking is poverty. It has the potential to encourage individuals to become traffickers, as well as parents to sell their children or other family members into enslavement. People in need are exploited by human traffickers, who provide them a means to make money when, in reality, they will make no money and be forced into slavery.

Demand for cheap labor/demand for sex: People are exploited by traffickers as a result of the desire for cheap labour and commercialized sex. Through an ongoing circle of buyers and high prices, commercialized sex is a profitable business that permits traffickers and pimps to become the sole beneficiaries from their victims.

Lack of human rights for vulnerable groups: Many countries lack established human rights for marginalized communities, which might lead to them being potential victims of human trafficking. Since they are not protected by law enforcement, their family, or even the society in which they live, traffickers can prey on these underprivileged communities.

Social factors and cultural practices: Human trafficking is often driven by cultural traditions and socioeconomic circumstances. In some regions, bonded labour is considered an appropriate method of debt repayment. Children are also sold to traffickers on a regular basis, especially by poor families in rural areas. Victims may also be hesitant to speak up about being trafficked or who their traffickers are due to cultural and social issues, particularly if they ori;ginate from communities that lack human rights safeguards.

Violation of  Human Rights;

Human rights have long been regarded as basic moral rights that citizens in all countries and cultures possess simply by virtue of being human. Therefore, human trafficking is not only a crime, it is also a gross violation of human rights. Traffickers treat victims like objects, infringing on their fundamental rights to make their own decisions, move freely, and work for whom and where they want. At many stages of the trafficking cycle, various human rights violations occur, including unassailable rights such as the right not to be abused or subjected to cruel, barbaric, or degrading treatment or punishment. It also involves the violation of the fundamental  rights that we all hold, the right to life, equality, dignity, and security; the right to health; the right to freedom of movement, freedom from violence and abuse, the right to be recognized as a person before the law. Discrimination on the basis of race and gender, arbitrary detention, forced labour, debt bondage, forced marriage, and sexual exploitation of children and women are all condemned and prohibited under human rights law. It has advocated for freedom of movement and the right to leave and return to one’s hometown. Slavery, servitude, child sexual exploitation, servile types of marriage, child marriage, enforced prostitution, and prostitute exploitation are  all violations of human rights law. Therefore, when it comes to human trafficking, implementing a human rights perspective is critical to restoring the exploited person’s dignity and well-being. 

Legal Provisions and Judicial Approach

The government of India has adopted a number  of legislation to combat the problem of human trafficking. Human and beggar trafficking is prohibited under Article 23 of the Indian Constitution, and it is illegal as well as provoking any minor girl under the age of eighteen years to travel to any such area with the intent to compel or entice illicit intercourse with another person is a criminal offence under. Section 366A of the Indian Penal Code. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956 is also the basic and most important piece of law for the protection of women and girls from sexual exploitation. Keeping a brother or allowing a brothel to run, attempting, obtaining, or taking a person for the purpose of prostitution, holding any person in premises for trafficking, seducing a person in custody, and so on are all offences defined by the act. Section 67A of the Information Technology Act of 2000 also makes it illegal to publish or transmit content featuring sexually explicit acts in an electronic format.

In Vishal Jeet v. Union of India, the Supreme Court while putting on record the growing exploitation of young women and children for  trafficking stated that notwithstanding the strict and rehabilitative provisions of legislation under several acts, the desired objective could not be deemed to have been attained. Therefore the Court ordered a multi-dimensional objective investigation and a comprehensive review into the causes and effects of this evil, as well as the most reasonable means to eradicate the vices of illicit trafficking

Further, in Gaurav Jain v. Union of India, while emphasizing the violation of trafficked targets’ right to life, the Supreme Court ordered the formation of a committee to develop appropriate schemes for the rehabilitation of trafficked women and children, allowing them to benefit from the equality of opportunity and status, as well as the dignity of person, which are the cornerstones of the Constitution.


Human trafficking is a global societal problem that infringes  fundamental rights as well as basic human right of the citizens. Since the human rights enshrined in the Indian Constitution are justified, effective implementation of these rights involves educating individuals about these rights so that they are recognised and followed. The government must also protect the most vulnerable people in society so that they do not become victims of human trafficking. Human trafficking laws and punishments must also be improved to ensure that they meet all of the standards for combating human trafficking.

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