Human trafficking, a form of organized crime that extends across borders, covers various forms of human rights violations, ranging from commercial sexual exploitation to forced labour and organ donation. Over the years it has taken on more complex and diverse forms making it necessary to reform laws and strategies geared towards its eradication and control. In the most recent Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2016 released by the UNODC, although most detected victims are still women, children and men now make up larger shares of the total number of victims than they did a decade ago. In 2014, children comprised 28 per cent of detected victims. With the rise of trafficking as a global phenomenon India’s involvement in it has also grown. While the bulk of trafficking in India takes place internally, and is believed to be targeted mostly at forced labour, lack of consistent and credible data makes it hard to establish the precise numbers, especially as far as children are concerned. However, despite the increase in trafficking, according to the National Crime Records Bureau Report the conviction rates for child trafficking in 2015 were an abysmal 14.3%. This should not come as a surprise though, as the legal and policy apparatus available in India to combat trafficking is largely remiss. The only legislation, i.e., The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act [ITPA, 1986] does not even define trafficking and deals with only one aspect of it, namely – commercial sexual exploitation. Further, rights of victims, provisions for their rehabilitation, conflicts over territorial jurisdictions, cross-border issues, lack of data and convergence across departments are other issues that have frustrated attempts to control this growing menace. While, several attempts have been made at amending the law in the last 2 decades they have yet to see the light of day.
CPR is bringing together a panel of experts to discuss the lacunae in the existing legal apparatus dealing with human trafficking. The discussion will focus on the urgent need for necessary legal and policy reforms, especially the need for a more robust and comprehensive law to holistically address of issue of human trafficking.
10:30 – 10:45 a.m.: Welcome Address and Introduction of the panellists
10:45 – 11:05 a.m.: Putting the agenda in perspective: Gaps in the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1986, by Kiran Bhatty, Senior Fellow, CPR
11:05 a.m. – 12:15 p.m.: Presentations by Panel of Experts
12:15 – 12:55 p.m.: Open house discussion to discuss need for legal mechanisms to address trafficking and effectively combat its growing nature
12:55 – 1:00 p.m.: Concluding Remarks by the moderator