Human Trafficking: An analysis of Human Trafficking in Bihar and the trafficking of Persons .
Updated: Mar 14
23 rd June 2021
Human Trafficking: An analysis of Human Trafficking in Bihar and the
trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018.
Md Junaid Imam, Chanakya National Law University, Patna
Since the 15th of August 1947, we live in the world’s largest democratic country. But it is a
matter of shame for us that we have been surrounded by a thick blanket of evil like Human
Trafficking. What could be worse than in a country where we worship women as Devi and
children as Devadoot are the sole victims of Human Trafficking. From Sindhu India to Digital
India, we never tried to embrace the significance of Women and Children. In a country of 29
States and 7 union territories, Bihar is called a Bimarua state because of the poor economic
conditions. Along with the tag of the beggarly monetary state, Biharis are well bound with the
sin of Human trafficking. The purpose of this article is to realize the three prominent subjects in
Bihar stimulates the trafficking of humankind irrespective of any gender across the state.
Through writing this article the author made an effort to settle down those three subjects. By
giving assent to the laws, we cannot cease the prevalent crime of trafficking. There are various
laws, which have been passed by following every clause of the constitution, that contains some
kind of shortcoming or imperfection that needs to be re-researched or diligently formulated. The
article undertook to inoculate the gaps of one such law, The trafficking of Persons (Prevention,
Protection and rehabilitation Bill 2018. With the strictness of laws, we need to carry campaigns
to make conscious the underprivileged sections of this widespread sin across the state. The
deceleration of the Judiciary promotes the mental ability of an accused to keep up the criminal
act of Human trafficking. 1 Health care workers on signs of trafficking are imperative to change
these victims into survivors with a chance for recovery. Support and encouragement from
healthcare professionals may be all the assistance a victim has. There is a significant role of local
organizations, which should work collaboratively to provide the best possible resources for the
victims of human trafficking.
Keywords: Human Trafficking, Bill, Victim, Underprivileged, Sin
Child slavery is a crime against Humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here”.
Kailash Satyarthi, Indian Activist
Human Trafficking is the process of trapping people through the use of force, violence, coercion
or deception and exploiting them for personal or economic gain. The victim can be of any age,
gender, race. The real meaning of trafficking for women is that they are forced to be groomed to
indulge in a sexual act in restaurants, bars or red-light area; Women or girls recruited to work at
home as private maids which means involving them in sexual activities behind the closed doors.
And for men trafficking means offering high risked jobs with lots of benefits and allowances
which finally leads to work as forced labour or in factories or indulge in hazardous activities.
Human trafficking also includes luring people to form an emotional relationship with a malicious
intention to sexually exploit them. 2 According to Thomson Reuters Foundation India has been
designated as the world’s most dangerous country for women ahead of Syria, Afghanistan and
Saudi Arabia. India is a hub of Human Trafficking with almost 20 to 65 million victims.
Three Major Issues in Human Trafficking in Bihar
1. Forced labour and Debt bondage
2. Inhumane form of child labour
3. Rush in Bihar’s sex Industry
(1). Forced labour and Debt bondage: According to a census of 2011, 29.3 million working
adults are engaged in forced labour in the state. The rural working population of the state is at
high risk than that of the urban peers. 3 There are various reasons because of which they are
forced to engage in forced labour. The top four cited factors include Physical violence which
consists of 2.8%. The second one is being too far from home (1.5) %. The third one is emotional
violence (1.2) %. Last but not least fear of harm to family and friends (0.7) %. One of the clear
reasons for the forced labour is the fear of loss which accounts for 4% of the total working
population of the state. The above-mentioned percentages seem to be very low, when applied to
the total working population base of the state, in some form of forced or coerced labour,
excluding the population of fear of loss, will lead to approximately 1.3 million adults working in
Debt Bondage is another evil that is prevalent in the Bihar state. When a person is restricted to
choose another occupation or is forced to do activities that are against the victim’s will because
he or she has taken debt or paid in advance by his or her employer or a bank. According to the
census of 2011, about 1.1% of the working adults are indulged in bondage labor which is
approximately 322,000 population of rural Bihar. Various reasons can conclude one as a victim
of bondage labor.
(2) Inhumane form of child labor: 4 As a child of God, I am greater than anything that can
happen to me. It was said by one of the great scientists Dr. Abdul Kalam Azad. But when it comes to reality, it often disappoints us. According to the survey of 2011, around 1 lakh sixty-seven
a thousand children were involved in child labor in urban centers of Bihar. What we see that they were engaged in the worst form of abusive labor work. In a democratic country like India where we have given the right to education for all children below the age of 14, we are drawing their attention towards their physical and mental education.
(3) Rush in Bihar’s sex industry: This is one of the major issues in Bihar related to Human
Trafficking in Bihar is widely spread and is in such a form that defines the
definition of International sex trafficking. 5 According to the data, this consists of 18% of the
victims of sex trafficking. In the state of least literacy rate, women and girls are more prone to
sex Trafficking. The victims are mostly uneducated. The three prime reasons that lead them to
indulge in sex trafficking are (1) Physical violence (2) Emotional Violence (3) Geographical
Resolving the three major issues:
1.Forced labor and Debt bondage: Both the Government of the state and community-based
services need to focus on this issue. Both should intervene to reduce the high risk of this evil, but at a low cost, otherwise, it will certainly lead the rural families into this vicious circle. To curb
this evil in society Government has to ensure proper medical care facilities, providing loans to rural people at low interest, organizing awareness campaigns.
2.Inhumane form of child labor: This issue can be resolved with the strong implementation of child labor law. Children are engaged in hazardous activities for excessive days and hours in a confined place by the employer. Child lines is an initiative that was taken by the government to resolve cases related to child trafficking, which solely depends upon the public to report.
3.Rush in Bihar’s sex industry: To end this kind of trafficking we must ensure that every woman and girl is getting an education. Government and civil society must try to implement or formulate economic policies for women and girls. They must be fully aware of this kind of human trafficking. The cases related to sex trafficking must be investigated and culprits must get punishment. In addition to this, efforts should be made to rehabilitate the victims in a Government shelter.
Salient Features of the trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and
Rehabilitation) Bill 2018:
1.Establishment of Anti-Human Trafficking department: To punish traffickers, the Bill provides
for the setting up of investigation and rehabilitation authorities at the district, state and national level. The primary investigation responsibility lies with anti-trafficking police officers and anti-trafficking units constituted at the district level. The authority at the national level can take over the investigation of cases referred to it by two or more states.
2.Speedy Justice and Shelter homes: The Bill also provides for the setting up of Protection
Homes and Rehabilitation Homes to provide care and rehabilitation to the victims. The Bill
supplements the rehabilitation efforts through a Rehabilitation Fund, which will be used to set up the Protection and Rehabilitation Homes. Special Courts will be designated in every district to complete a trial of trafficking cases within a year.
3.Cognizable offense: The Bill specifies penalties for various offenses including for the
promotion of trafficking and trafficking with the aid of media. All offenses are cognizable (i.e. a police officer can arrest without a warrant) and non-bailable. If a person is found guilty under the Bill and also under any other law, the higher punishment will apply to the offender
Gaps of the trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, and Rehabilitation)
1.Current Bill vs Existing Laws: The current Bill does not replace the existing laws related to
Human Trafficking but adds confusion to the existing legal framework. Since each of these
laws has different procedures, it is unclear as to which procedure will apply in certain cases of
trafficking. This may result in an overlap in the implementation of these laws. For instance, under the ITPA, 1986, Protective Homes provide for the rehabilitation of victims of sexual
exploitation. The Bill also provides for the setting up of Protection Homes. When a victim of
sexual exploitation is rescued, it is not clear as to which of these Homes she will be sent to.
Further, each of these laws designates special courts to hear offenses. The question arises as to which of these courts will hear the case.
2.Offences in the Bill are not reasonably tailored: There are other laws where the owner of a
property is presumed guilty. However, the prosecution is required to prove certain facts before presuming his guilt. However, the Bill clarifies that the presumption will only apply if the prosecution can prove that the accused was connected with the circumstances of the case. The Bill does not contain such safeguards and this provision may therefore violate
3. Claiming immunity from punishment for a victim is uncertain: The Bill provides immunity to a victim who commits an offense punishable with death, life imprisonment or imprisonment for 10 years. Immunity to victims is desirable to ensure that they are not prosecuted for committing crimes that are a direct consequence of them being trafficked. However, the Bill provides immunity only for serious crimes. However, if a trafficked victim commits petty theft (e.g.pickpocketing) under the coercion of his traffickers, he will not be able to claim
immunity. Further, the immunity is only available when the victim can show that the offence was committed under coercion, threat, intimidation or undue influence, and there was a reasonable apprehension of death or injury. Therefore, it may be argued that the limit to claim immunity from prosecution may be too high and may defeat the purpose for providing such immunity.
The fight against human trafficking can be evaluated in three categories: 7 what is being done, how it is being done, and why it is being done. There are different attitudes through which we can
combat Human trafficking in Bihar. The need for education among youth and advocacy of Anti Human Trafficking awareness campaigns can decrease the probability among the state.
Implementation of the law is more important than the assenting of bills. The Government should
unite with different NGOs that are struggling to combat Human Trafficking. Different policies or schemes formulated by the Government, related to the compensation to the victims need to be delivered within the time framework.