THE PERNICIOUS PRACTICE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING SEXUAL EXPLOITATION AND FORCED MARRIAGES
Updated: Mar 14
Date- 16th June 2021
THE PERNICIOUS PRACTICE OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING SEXUAL
EXPLOITATION AND FORCED MARRIAGES
BY- ANSHIKA SINGH (RESEARCH INTERN, STAMBH
“What freedom are we to find when our restless minds are enslaved under the chains of human
trafficking? What freedom do we preach when our females breathe through enraged wounds?
They are used and abused, left in caves alienated and bruised.
What is this language we speak of when we talk about the law since the human rights clause is
ignored and flawed? Whom is it protecting because here we are protesting? Isn't this law ought
to save the bodies of young females? Isn't this law ought to be brave and remove females from
Instead, it chooses for women and children to die
leaving their loved ones with no goodbyes.
Human trafficking, I say,
has made enough money for the day.”
― Mitta Xinindlu
ABSTRACT: This research article aims to underline and highlight the root causes, solutions,
data, and statistics concerning forced marriages and sexual exploitation under the cover of
human trafficking. A contaminated practice being condemned and opposed all over the globe.
And, the set’s one’s eyes on better scope and understanding and identifying a victim of such
WHAT IS HUMAN TRAFFICKING?
Elucidating and analyzing the literal and verbatim meaning of human trafficking, we can be
conscious of any practice, procedure, or operation involving actively seeking for, hiring,
accommodating, lodging, shipping, conveying, and transiting people by use of external force,
fraud, betrayal or inescapable means with intent to achieve personal, social, economical, sexual
benefit and recognition. The crime occurs in millions, in every region, in every portion, to people
from diverse and different backgrounds irrespective of their race, caste, sex, and also age.
Children, men, and women all sufferers and are victims worldwide of this heinous crime.
Basically in a common sequence of events, the trafficker lures the victim for untruthful promises,
romantic relationships, jobs, any financial assistance or applies barbarity of any means. People
who hope of improving the quality of their livelihood, escape discrimination or poverty often
pinned down in the trap of human trafficking. There are many ways, forms, categories, and
classifications of human trafficking depending upon the motives and needs of the trafficker.
Some of them are as follows-
➔ SEXUAL EXPLOITATION
➔ SLAVERY (LABOUR TRAFFICKING)
➔ FORCED MARRIAGES
➔ DRUG PEDDLING(GROWING CANNABIS)
➔ DOMESTIC SERVITUDE
➔ ORGAN REMOVAL
Human trafficking in numbers
● 51% of identified victims of trafficking are women, 28% children, and 21%,
● 72% of people exploited in the sex industry are women
● 63% of identified traffickers were men and 37%, women
● 43% of victims are trafficked domestically within national borders
(EVALUATED BY The United Nations Office for Drugs and Crime (UNODC)
India being one of the topmost stations for human trafficking as per the reports, in 2018 human trafficking in India recorded 5264 total number cases as maintained by National Crime Records Bureau. According to the statistics, 64% of the total people trafficked were women, comprising 48% of minor girls. The scheduled caste, scheduled tribes, and other backward casts in India are more vulnerable to human trafficking as the concerned group is economically and socially underprivileged. Bihar, Telangana, West Bengal, Orissa, Assam, Rajasthan are few states among many which are considered to be the most distressed areas of such proscribed practice.
SEXUAL EXPLOITATION; HUMAN TRAFFICKING
Sexual exploitation or sex trafficking is a misdemeanor, illegitimate, and an act recognized against the established principles of law which coerces the victim to indulge in commercial/labor sex acts through frauds, harassment, oppression, or threats. The trafficker or the abuser’s intention to involve the victim in such disgraceful acts is basically economic or financial gain, however, this might not be the only sole motive in some cases. In the opinion of several reports, sex trafficking or sexual exploitation is one of the most fastest-growing criminals operations worldwide, valuing $99 billion each year, affecting the female species on a relatively larger scale. As maintained by UNDOC, approximately 94% of victims of sexual exploitation and sex trafficking are
females(women and girls) however the male section of the society are also victims of such
exploitation the data or statistics for the same are largely underreported. It has been observed that in sex trafficking, the sufferer is in a vulnerable position has been misled and deceived by the perpetrator with the promise of a well-earning job, enhanced quality of life particularly abroad when the victim or the sufferer actually becomes aware of the true situation the abuser then manipulates the victim utilizing threat, lies, sadism, and debt bondage, etc. to coerce the victim into commercial/labor sex acts averse to their will. Power and control are one most crucial elements to frame and structure sex trafficking Isolation, terrorization, oppression, economic, physical, sexual abuse are some of the common tactics and schemes used in the appearance of sex trafficking. The sufferer in some cases might be willingly agreed to offer sex work as a service, but it can be observed that such people are also the victims of sex trafficking as they might not be allowed to leave the work, their respective passports, and other documents are seized, the working conditions do not meet the assured contract and end up in shady working conditions which they do not agree.
The IOC/NRCusing several ecological methods pinned down certain risk factors for the
involvement of young people and youth in sex trafficking and sexual exploitation.
● INDIVIDUAL: LGBT YOUTH, PAST RELATED TO CHILD ABUSE AND
MALTREATMENT, JUVENILE HISTORY, DISCRIMINATION, STIGMA
● INTERRELATION: INTERNAL CONFLICT, DYSFUNCTIONAL,
● COMMUNITY: PEER PRESSURE, UNCOMPROMISING RULES, REGULATIONS
AND NORMS, GANG INVOLVEMENT, LACK OF PROPER EDUCATION
● SOCIETAL: LACK OF AWARENESS ABOUT CRIMES, SEXUAL
EXPLOITATION, SEXUALIZATION OF CHILDREN
The emerging technology and world wide web provide the abuser with a more vulnerable
platform to lure the victim via several social media sites through posting activities on
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and especially dating sites like Tinder. Destabilization and
substance abuse are the most aims at themes for scanning youngsters. Around 50% of the
victims affirm that they are even forced into pornography. Apart from creating personal
profits in itself, pornography is also utilized as a form of psychological manipulation to
keep sufferers locked in this line of business by convincing them that they are socially
and permanently ‘tarnished and stigmatized’ since they are now on the internet forever. It
is also worth noting here that when porn is non-consensual, involves coercion, violence,
or blackmail, it becomes a form of sex trafficking in its own right.
FORCED MARRIAGES AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
In general or common parlance, a marriage can be defined as the union of two people as
spouses with their due CONSENT which can be legally and socially recognized as well
as acceptable. To elucidate, an adult cannot give his/her due consent or permission to
enter into such a relationship if he deems not to be fit or if there’s an existing mental or
physical disability abstaining from doing so. Consent in a marriage where two agreeing to
share their lives, soul, and resources with one another is the most sacred part and essence
of the term marriage. This essence or quintessence of marriage is being destroyed for the
mere sake of financial profit, sexual needs, or any other unreasonable motive resulting in
forced marriages. Forced marriages can be signalized by oppression, i.e. when either one
party in marriage does give full and free consent to such a relationship, is harassed to
marry against their will, and under any other physical, emotional, psychological, sexual
constraint. Men, women, and even children belonging to all backgrounds, classes,
religions, races, caste, etc. get victimized by such evil practices. Forced marriages and
arranged marriages are often commingled together. It is to be noted that in arranged
marriages the family, friends, and other acquaintances of both the parties find a fit and
compatible match for the parties, and also free, full, and unbounded consent are taken
from both of the parties before legally or socially proceeding with the marital formalities.
However, the case of obtaining consent in forced marriages is alike to arranged
marriages. Here either of the party is physically or emotionally coerced. In some of the
cases even manipulated to procure consent under threats or constraints. Mechanisms
equipped often used for manipulation are frequent blackmails (psychologically),
fulfillment of religious, social, or economical commitment to one’s family, Alluring to
individual’s personality, Ceremonial practice, immigration, transfer or sponsorship for
cross borders or enter into the particular territory. One of the most common trains of
thought to such violence is the absence of proper agency and proper interpretation of laws
of the person(s) being coerced into such a marriage. As reported by, The UNDOC many
people including children are pressurized to enter into forced marriages and are then
being traded or trafficked into sex/labor exploitation not only for financial, personal
emoluments but also for other social securities such as obtaining citizenship, sponsorship,
or body politic. Customarily in a certain state of affairs, the definition drawn on human
trafficking, forced marriages are not used included as part of human trafficking, however,
forced marriages must and can fit into a literal interpretation of human trafficking
attributable to specific nature such as coercion, harassment, duress, fraud, physical and
psychological constraint, blackmailing and threats, in situations like this forced marriages
lead to the trading of persons through internationally or traditionally borders.
FORCED MARRIAGE AS HUMAN TRAFFICKING
★ MOVEMENT: TRANSPORATION, SHIPPING, RELOCATING
★ TRAFFICKING: WITHIN DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL LIMITS
★ TO OBTAIN CONSENT
★ TO PRESERVE SOCIAL STATUS
★ TO RESOLVE FINANCIAL DEBT
★ RELIGIOUS, CULTURAL BELIEFS
★ POLITICAL BENEFITS
★ PRESERVE FAMILY TRADITIONS AND PRACTICES
★ FULFILLMENT OF ECONOMIC COMMITMENTS TO ONE’S FAMILY
★ PROCURE CITIZENSHIP AND SPONSORSHIP VIA FAMILY
★ GOOD FAITH FOR PARENTS AND SIBLINGS
JUSTIFICATIONS: EXPLOITATION/ABUSE/UNFAIR TREATMENT
★ SEXUAL OR PHYSICAL
★ PSYCHOLOGICAL OR EMOTIONAL
★ ESTABLISH POWER AND DOMINANCE OVER AN INDIVIDUAL
FORCED MARRIAGES BARBARITY TRAFFICKING
NON CONSENSUAL LACK OF PROPER AGENCY LACK OF AWARENESS PARENTAL, SOCIAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL PRESSURE
CONSTRAINT OF FREEDOM, ABSENCE OF PERSONAL AND SOCIAL LIBERTY SEXUAL, PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL ABUSE AND HARASSMENT
MANIPULATION, EXCHANGE OF FAVOURS
RECOGNIZING A VICTIM OF HUMAN TRAFFICKING AND FORCED
1. APPEARANCES (PHYSICAL MALTREATMENT)
● Bodily Injury (visible or internal)
● Signs of malnourishment or starvation
● The repetitive cycle of sickness or illness
● Efforts to end life and suicidal thoughts
● Discouraging reflection
2. SEXUAL ABUSE/INDECENT ASSAULT
● Bruises, injuries, damages of sexual nature
● Rape or forced sexual intercourse
● Any other reasonable points of reference
3. PSYCHOLOGICAL OPPRESSION
● Agitation of isolation
● Ability or freedom to make decisions
● Lack of self-expression
● Self blame/Mortification/Shamefacedness/ Ignominy
● Blameworthiness for family/society
● Communal or collective stigmatization
● Restrictions on interacting and conversing with the outer world
4. CIRCUMSTANTIAL ABUSE
● Enslavement/ Servitude/ Serfdom
● Concerns regarding family prominence and character
● Lack of interpreting established law in respect to immigration and criminality
● Dowry/ settlements of any nature/ gifts/ prosperity of marriages
● Consent acquired by fraud/misrepresentation
● Coerced industriousness
● Segregated/ Isolated/ Quarantined/ Inaccessibility
● Panics of losing family/friends/ and close ones or support of loved ones
● Not permitted or authorized to contact family/friends
● Humiliation from society
● Fear of losing children and their custody/ separation due to banishment
● Passports and citizenship determining documents, not in possession
● Accompanied and controlled by another person possibly dealing agent
5. ECONOMIC ABUSE
● Absence of financial data and documents
● Severely dependent upon a spouse or another family member for financial needs
● Economic impoverishment
Following the International Labour Organization as per the global estimates of modern slavery
forced marriages and human trafficking year- 2016. The following has been maintained-
● Around 40.3 million people were victimized by modern slavery.
● The above-mentioned data included 24.9 million people in coerced labor and 15.4 million
sufferers of forced marriage
● The feminine gender (women and girls) are in the most exposed and vulnerable position
to such practice.
● Calculating 99% of victims or sufferers being female in commercial sex work, 58% in
SIGNALS: FORCED MARRIAGES AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING
❖ SEIZURE/ KIDNAPPING/ HOLD HOSTAGE
❖ DECEIT/ TRICKERY/ MISREPRESENTATION/ IMPOSTURING
❖ FAMILY PRESSURE/ SOCIETAL NORMS/ EXCHANGE OF FAVOURS/ SEVERE
ECONOMIC DEPRESSION/ POLITICAL PRESSURE/ EXTORTION/ RELIGIOUS
BELIEFS/ FEES FOR EDUCATION
❖ SEXUAL AND PHYSICAL EXPLOITATION
❖ FORCED PREGNANCY/ABORTION
❖ DOMESTIC/ LABOR SERVITUDE
❖ ECONOMIC MALTREATMENT
❖ CONSTRAINT ON PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND LIBERTY
FORCED MARRIAGES HUMAN TRAFFICKING
LACK OF CONSENT, PERMISSION AND AUTHORISATION, CONSTRAINT
ON PRIVACY, FREEDOM, AND LIBERTY, EMOTIONAL, PHYSICAL AND
3- LIKELINESS OF
DEMOGRAPHICS OF FORCED MARRIAGES
➢ 15.4 million people worldwide are involved in forced marriages involuntarily.
➢ Feminine gender comprises 88% of total data.
➢ 37% of girls victimized were minor (belabour8) when being married.
➢ 44% of girls were below 15 when being married.
➢ 2 of every 1000 person was a sufferer of forced marriages in ASIA & PACIFIC.
(STATISTICS MAINTAINED BY- INTERNATIONAL LABOUR ORGANISATION
ESTIMATES OF MODERN SLAVERY: FORCED MARRIAGES (2017) )
➢ One of the FOCUS countries concerning cases related to forced marriages.
➢ Classification by gender: MALE- (Number: 29), (Percentage: 35.4%) / FEMALE-
(Number: 53), (Percentage: 64.6%)
➢ Classification by Age : 15 and under- (NUMBER: 6), (Percentage: 7.3% ) /16 to17-
(Number: 8), (Percentage: 9.8%)/ 18 to 21- (Number: 8), (Percentage: 9.8%)/ 21 to25-
(Number: 10), (Percentage: 12.2%)/26 to30- (Number: 8), (Percentage: 9.8%)/ 31 to 40-
(Number:18), (Percentage: 22.0%)/ Over 40- (Number: 8), (Percentage: 9.8%)/ Unknown
Adult- (Number: 16), (Percentage: 19.5%)
(AS MAINTAINED BY: FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH OFFICE FORCED
MARRIAGE UNIT STATISTICS 2017)
FEATURES AFFECTING THE UNDER-REPORTING OF CASES
★ REMOTENESS/ ISOLATION/ INACCESSABLITY
★ (FEAR) LACK OF SUPPORT AND ENCOURAGEMENT TO REPORT
★ FEAR OF HUMILIATION AND BANISHMENT FROM SOCIETY
★ LIFE-THREATENING CONSEQUENCES BY DISCLOSURE
★ FEAR OF DEFAMING FAMILY
★ SYSTEMATIC RACISM
★ LACK OF ASSISTANCE PROVIDER AGENCY OR ORGANISATION
★ LANGUAGE BARRIER
★ PERCEPTION OF JUSTICE ARRANGEMENTS AND STRUCTURE OF LAW
(Lack or absence of proper law or regulations addressing the crime, unable to
interpret the proceeding process, fear of authoritative inquiry and investigation, no
emotional and legal support.)
★ GUILT FOR PRESERVING FAMILY PRESTIGE
★ DENIGRATING AND DISGRACING RELIGIOUS BELIEFS
★ PATRIARCHAL STRUCTURE OF SOCIETY COMING OUT AHEAD FROM
ALL PARTS OF THE WORLD
★ FEAR OF LOSING CHILDREN AND CUSTODY OR SEPARATION
★ FEAR OF LOSING FINANCIAL DEPENDENCE ON FAMILY OR SPOUSE
★ FEAR OF LOSING COUNTRY’s AUTHORIZATION OR CITIZENSHIP
★ DEBT SUSTAIN THROUGH FORCED MARRIAGE BEING PAID OFF
★ LACK OF CONSCIOUSNESS AND RECOGNITION OF RIGHTS, FREEDOM,
HOW CAN WE HELP/ WHAT CAN BE DONE?/ WHAT IS ACHIEVABLE?
The fight and opposing of human trafficking are simply categorized into three bulletins and
questions we need to ask ourselves before lending our hands, support, assistance, and HELP to
the people being victimized. These are: WHAT CAN BE DONE? HOW IT IS TO BE DONE?
WHY IT IS TO BE DONE?
➔ RECOGNISE THE INDICATORS AND SIGNS: One of the most crucial parts of
lending the hand to a victim is to save a person and a soul from being victimized. Learn
and acknowledge the very possible indicators and signs of the trafficking victim or a
person as a dealer in illegitimate practices. Various training and awareness schemes, as
well as camps, are ongoing for individuals, organizations, educators, law officers.
➔ REPORT SUSPICIONS: As soon as sense something abnormal or not of uniform
nature about a person's behavior or particular circumstances immediately inform the
available authorities and appropriate jurisdiction. Be informed about your legal
enforcement rules and authorities nearby.
➔ BOYCOTT AGENCIES AND ORGANISATIONS PROMOTING AND
PRACTICING HUMAN TRAFFICKING THROUGH DOMESTIC AND LABOR
SERVITUDE: Be an informed citizen and consumer. Identify any such organization or
company which produces goods and products through slavery or poor health conditions
for workers. Recognize companies and businesses contributing tosuch behaviour then
propagate the same to unprivileged classes and most vulnerable groups to such crimes.
Tell them about the jurisprudence and system of laws available, indoctrinate them about
their right, duties, privileges available to them as citizens, liberties, etc. Analyze their
problems, troubles, and any realizable component which is constraining them from
sustaining their livelihood with respect, dignity, and peace. Try to ensure these people
that the information they are providing is completely confidential and will be kept as
sensitive data. Guide, advise, counsel them to possible aid, assistance and solutions.
Make them comfortable. Try to ensure that they’ll be listened to and assisted very soon
by an appropriate action plan.
➔ ORGANIZE, PARTICIPATE, AND VOLUNTEER IN TRAINING AND
AWARENESS RAISING PROGRAMMES: With the help of local or domestic law
enforcement officers try to make yourself available for such projects.
➔ DONATE AND START A FUNDRAISING PLATFORM: To help people and victims
overcome their financial deprivations and mental trauma donate and initiate a fundraising
platform promoting the welfare of such sufferers.
➔ HELP FURNISHING JOBS, INTERNSHIPS, SCHOLARSHIPS, SPONSORSHIP
TO PEOPLE BEING VICTIMIZED BY TRACKING
➔ ASSIST PEOPLE IN PROVIDING LOW COST OR FREE MEDICAL HELP TO
While exercising certain helping aids and points are supposed to be kept in mind by the service
1. Don’t force the victim or sufferer to open up to you. Give them some time and make
they are equipped and informed about all the possible outcomes, options, and aids available.
2. Interaction with the victim’s family, kids, relatives, friends, and other close relatives
shouldn’t be encouraged.
3. Be impartial while explicating an impression or judgment. Try to be impartial.
4. Victims shouldn’t be forced to take steps against their families.
It is time for us to scrutinize forced marriage as a form of brutality against humankind and their
individual freedom to breathe, survive, and keep their body and soul together. It is time to let the
people being victimized or who are vulnerable be victimized about their liberties, rights, and
freedom. It is time for the law to change to structuralize a more flexible statute aiding such
people. It is time for the authorities to listen and listen to such people more carefully and
consciously than ever before. It is time for us as a society to make space and share the world and
resources with such people and make this world a better, safe, and secure place to live. IT IS
TIME FOR PEACE AND PROSPERITY.
“Come with me to this backroom of grey behind a fortress of blood and steel, where girls who
would-be mothers, are carted away, codeine-eyed, to quest the Holy Grail on alien soil by
women who should be mothers to them.” ― Valentine Okolo, I Will Be Silent