The phenomenon of human trafficking has increased significantly over the past two decades, both globally and in South Asian countries. India is a source; destination and transit country for men, women and children trafficked for the purpose of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Women and girl are trafficked within the country for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced marriage. Children are also subjected to forced labour as factory workers, domestic servants, beggars and agricultural workers. Due persistent inequalities worldwide, women are more vulnerable to this practice which is a consequence of structured gender inequality in the form of violence. Trafficking for sexual exploitation typically includes abuse within the commercial sex industry (US trafficking in person’s report 2009).
There are estimated to be over 9 lakh sex workers in India and among them 30% are believed to be children. Recent reports estimate that the number of girl children involved in prostitution is increasing at 8 to 10 percent per annum. The problem of girl child prostitution in India is more complicated than in other third world countries because of poverty, traditional practices, beliefs and gender discrimination in India. According to a study in Kamatipura, the average age of girls supplied to the brothels in the last two years has decreased from 14 and 16 years to 10 and 14 years. A girl between 10 and 12 years fetches the highest price. Clients mistakenly believe that children have fewer chances of contracting the diseases. Similarly, there is a myth that man can get rid of STDs if he sleeps with virgins (Dr. John E. Rode).
Poverty and girl child trafficking
Many people living in poverty live in communities of extreme poverty where there are limited resources and few opportunities for employment. Criminals take advantage of these vulnerable people, offering them a way to escape the harsh realities of their lives. Traffickers may offer fraudulent job training or educational opportunities to the people who are desperate enough to try anything for a better life for themselves or for their families.
Poverty is one of several factors that make individuals vulnerable to trafficking. While trafficking victims come from a range of backgrounds, including from economically privileged families, trafficking is linked inextricably with people with a lack of resources, notably job opportunities. Living in poverty is a harsh reality to escape from and people become desperate enough to enter into fraudulent employment schemes or be deceived into prostitution. Traffickers target people who have few economic opportunities and those struggling to meet basic needs.
With over 35% of the world’s population living on less than $2.00 a day, 2.5 billion children, women and men are at risk for human trafficking.2 Poor parents, promised that their child will be educated, fed and treated well, may send their child, sometimes in exchange for money, with a person the parents trust. Parents may feel forced to sell one child so that the others may eat. At times, a child may be sold out of payment for a parent’s debt (bonded placement,) particularly in societies where it is socially acceptable for children to work. In the United States, vulnerable people may be recruited from homeless shelters.3 Most victims of trafficking are women and girls. In those economically troubled countries where women hold low social status, families may sell a girl child in order to have money to feed the rest of the family. Other women and girls are lured into trafficking out of a desire for a better life for themselves, and in some cultures, to pay a dowry.
Significance of the Study
Human Trafficking, especially children within India has become a very serious problem. The sensitiveness between poverty and child trafficking in India with the available theories, and tries to argues that poverty and lack of parental support render children more vulnerable to be trafficked.
This study is important to social workers and other professionals who have the potential to come in contact with human trafficked victims. It is also of great importance to the unidentified trafficked victim; because social work is one of those unique professions that strive to place people ahead of profits. Identifying human trafficking victims, to liberate, rehabilitate and reintegrate into society is our goal. As a profession, social work values the importance of safeguarding the rights of others. Specifically, this study is also relevant for human trafficked victims in contemporary scenario. As a profession we investigate and publish findings with respect for dignity and welfare of the clients.
Review of Literature: The United Nations General Assembly, 1994 (Resolution 49/166) defined trafficking as-” The illicit and clandestine movements of persons across national borders, largely from developing countries with economies in transition, with the end goal of forcing women and girls into sexually or economically oppressive and exploitative situations for profit of recruiters, traffickers and syndicates as well as other illegal activities related to trafficking, such as forced domestic labour, false marriages, clandestine employment and false adoption.
Objectives of the Study
1. To analyze the causes of child trafficking in India.
2. To examine the various trends in child are trafficking and exploitation involving children from India.
3. To study the Factors and characteristics of child victims of trafficking and
4. To study the social work interventions in eradicating child trafficking
This study aimed at qualitatively analyzing the depression, stress of children who were trafficked and thus deprived of their rights. The present study purely based on the secondary data was by review of journals, research articles and books. The in-depth data collected through secondary source of methods. The objective of the study is to study the child trafficking in India, various trends of child trafficking and social work interventions were made in the study.
Factors of Human Trafficking in India
There are many factors which contribute to human trafficking in India. They include:
More than 42 per cent of the Indian people are economically deprived. Most of these people live in poor villages. Some parents, though obviously not most, feel compelled to send their children to work in order to ease their poverty.
Lack of Education
Many Indian villages do not have schools. The schools that do exist are in very poor condition. Teachers lack incentive to work in the villages because of the poor salaries offered, inadequate work environments, and transportation issues. As a result, most of the children have little to no education. This creates an environment ripe for traffickers to make false promises to parents, luring them to send their girls away for a chance at better education, domestic work, and other “good” opportunities that would otherwise be unattainable in their lifetimes.
India still functions with the caste system. The lower castes, which contain the majority of the population, have less opportunity for advancement than those in the higher castes. The lower castes are vulnerable to all kinds of exploitation in Indian society. The upper castes intimidate, manipulate, and coerce lower caste girls for sexual pleasure.
In Indian culture, boys are preferred over girls. This preference is apparent even at conception, since many girls are aborted when their sex is learned. The use of ultrasounds to detect the baby’s gender is extremely prevalent in India today. Women undergo ultrasounds to determine the sex of their unborn babies in order to decide whether or not to abort. Doctors are offer scanning and abortion for Rs. 3600 if it is a girl. Doctors make more money aborting girls than they do taking care of their other patients. This is a trend that occurs mainly in the northern part of India.
City Life Dreams
For the village people, the city represents a dream of a better life. When traffickers offer their daughters a job in the city, the villagers hope that one day the rest of the family can move to the city.
Poor awareness of Human Trafficking and Brothel Life
The village people are illiterate. A trafficker, through persuasive promises, can easily mislead them. Most of the people are unaware of human trafficking and its connection to prostitution that takes place in brothels and other places in major cities.
Dysfunctional Families: Mental, physical, and emotional abuse of children is very common in the villages and throughout Indian society. This abuse, as well as family poverty and neglect, often compel children to leave their homes. Most of them end up in the hands of traffickers.
The devadasi system is still prevalent in some states in India, particularly in the south, including in Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra and Telangana State. Daughters are dedicated to the Lord Shiva when they are very young for temple service. These young women are known as temple dancers. In the southern part of India, families offer their daughters to the goddess Yellamma. People believe that by doing so, they will bring prosperity and good luck in their lives. Once a girl is dedicated to the temple, the parents consider their daughter to be dead. These girls live inside the temple and become the slave of the lord.. The brokers offer good money and opportunity in big cities. These young people are brainwashed by their parents and society to believe that this is their lot in life and there is no other way they can live. Many young people come into slavery through the devadasi system.
Corruption in India
Corruption is widespread and has seeped into the political system, thus contributing to poverty, human trafficking, democracy debasement, inequality in wealth distribution, social injustice, and the widespread giving and taking of bribes. According to a Transparency International (TI) report on global corruption, India has fallen to 74th place on the list of 180 nations evaluated. Widespread unemployment, the desire to make a quick profit with little effort, and the broad existence of gangs create an atmosphere conducive for trafficking in persons to thrive.
In the last several years, political instability in the country has contributed to lawlessness and an inability of the government to contain the criminal activities that have resulted. In order to maintain stability, political parties have been forced to placate one another with favors and concessions which allow for extensive “cover ups” that often go unnoticed within society. The police are often not independent entities in India. Instead, each state’s force is managed by a political leader who controls their daily activities. As a result, the police are drawn into the corruption of the political system.
Lack of Legal Convictions against the Traffickers
The Indian court system is congested due to an increasingly crowded docket. The heightened crime rate in Indian society has proven too much for the current judicial system to handle. Corruption has also crept into the judicial system. The writs of petition that come to the high court of India will often take eight to ten years to be heard.
High Market Demand for Minor Girls
Worldwide there is a high demand for minor girls in the sex trade. India is no different. Minor girls are easy targets for exploitation. They are afraid to speak out about the crimes that are committed against them, and they typically remain very obedient to the customers. Foreign tourists prefer minor girls for both their youthful appearances and their submissiveness to them. Young girls are very desirable for both brothel owners and customers.
Exploitation Resulting from Sex Discrimination
As girls are seen as meek, loyal and submissive, they are trafficked by ‘placement agencies’ into working as servants. Upon maturity, they can then be used as prostitutes, sold again to brothels, while the unknowing family which hired them as a maid buys yet another girl as a servant.
Alternatively, they’re also rented out to foreign tourists looking for minor girls. Minor girls are in huge demand in illegal sex trade in different parts of India and they’re easy targets to exploit. Traffickers also create an illusion that one day; the entire family will follow their sons and daughters into the city. They aren’t aware of the link between the placement agencies and brothels.
Dysfunctional Family and Society Structure
Dysfunction in Indian family and society structures results from alcoholism and gambling, as well as a rigorous patriarchy which exercises power through the panchayat as well as informal societal norms. This is worsened by poverty and neglect, compelling children to leave home, only to find themselves trapped by traffickers.
Other Related Factors Leading to Trafficking
Ø Child marriage
Ø Natural Disasters (floods, cyclones etc.)
Ø Domestic violence
Ø Lure of job / marriage with false promises
Ø Domestic servitude
Ø Traditional / Religious prostitution (Devdasi)
Ø Lack of Employment opportunities
Ø Hope for jobs / marriage
Ø Demand for cheap labour
Ø Enhanced vulnerability due to lack of awareness
Ø Creation of need and market by sex traffickers for ‘experimental’ and ‘tender’ sex. – Sex tourism
Ø Internet pornography
Ø Organized crime generating high profits with low risk for traffickers.
The below mentioned factors among the other related are leading to trafficking are the following.
Combating with Trafficking
Prevention of human trafficking requires several types of interventions. Prevention as a strategy to combat trafficking has to focus on areas of sensitization and awareness among the public, especially those vulnerable pockets of trafficking at source areas as well as convergence of a development services to forestall conditions responsible for it.
Social Work Intervention
The social worker need to support the victims emotionally by counseling. They should be allowed to ventilate their pent up emotions and stresses. They should be helped through brief cognitive therapies involving them in group work would help them to get rid of feeling of isolation. Group session would help them to learn coping strategies and skills of problem solving.
Ø Counseling – Psycho-social counseling with the utmost empathetic attitude was given to bring down anxiety and emotional distress. They were assured of safety and security.
Ø Behavioral techniques with reinforcement were used to modify maladaptive behavior and to increase their adaptability for rehabilitation.
Ø Psycho-education was given about nature and problems of victims and Awareness was given to victims about reduction of anxiety.
Ø Oriented about child rights and services and worked with police to give legal help against traffickers.
Ø Family study will be done and planned intervention and referred the children for schooling and vocational training.
Ø Assessment of the youth’s and family’s needs and strengths and Information about and referral to needed programs and services.
Ø Information about financial and legal issues and resources and Names of reputable educational advocates and educational consultants.
Ø Crisis intervention counseling services and On-going psychotherapy for the teen, the parents and the family as a whole
Ø Case management (helping staff from multiple agencies coordinate and communicate on behalf of the teen, and advocating for the family with these providers).
Ø Information about important ‘warning signs’ of teens who are on a downward spiral and the steps needed to get help.
To cope with these problems as well as their need for information are described in social work intervention to reduce their depression and stress, high feelings of loss of control, stress relatively high depressive feelings, particularly in mother, whereas parents of trafficked female children were more concerned about the consequences for the child. Training on the above aspects will enable social workers to render a more effective service to trafficked victim parents. Parents are the real problem solver of their children here. Parents have very strong mind to cope with problem as well social workers should provide above mentioned interventions to reduce their depression and stress level.
Girl child trafficking is a violation of the human rights of the child who is trafficked. It is also a crime. However, trafficking involves a series of distinct acts – recruiting a child, moving the child from one place to another, exploiting the child – that are sometimes carried out in two or more countries, making it difficult for law enforcement officials to gather evidence. Family Poverty is the one of the main causes of girl child trafficking there are many poverty alleviation programmes in completely eradicating poverty but, still trafficking is increasing. Children can experience many different violations of their rights and suffer both physically and psychologically. Poverty is the most obvious factor that leads to a spread in trafficking of women. However various other cultural and socio-economic factors sustain this abhorrent practice as well.
In the fight against trafficking government organizations, non-governmental organizations, civil society, pressure groups, international bodies, all have to play an important role. Law cannot be the only instrument to take care of all problems.