In 2013, the UN General Assembly held a high-level meeting to appraise the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, wherein member states also adopted resolution A/RES/68/192 and designated July 30 as the World Day against Trafficking in Persons. This resolution declared that such a day was necessary to “raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights.” This was a follow up to the adoption of the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons, by the UN, which urged Governments worldwide to take coordinated and consistent measures to combat this menace.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for action, regarding this phenomenon of trafficking, saying that the vulnerabilities of many turns into business opportunities for human traffickers. Many millions of vulnerable women, men and children are being cruelly exploited for various reasons. Some are pushed to work in factories, fields, brothels; others are trafficked for the purpose of organ harvesting and many are forced in marriages. More and more detected victims of trafficking are children, especially girls under the age of 18. It is also shocking that no place in the world is safe: the latest Global Report on Trafficking in Persons by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime found that the trafficking victims identified in 124 states were citizens of 152 different countries.
The situation is fairly dismal in India, with women and girls being trafficked at an alarming rate every single day. It has been estimated that nearly 75% of Indian states have what government data define as a “high concentration” of women engaged in sex trade. Extreme poverty, lack of education and employment, and poor implementation of the government’s minimum wage system in rural parts of the country, make girls very vulnerable to trafficking. The 2013 edition of the Global Slavery Index, found that almost half of the 3 million ‘slaves’ in the world are from India.
It is horrific, that over the past decade there has been no significant improvement in the overall condition of this crime, especially in terms of punishment. In the period covered by the Global Report, about 40% of countries reported less than 10 convictions per year, and it is appalling that about 15% did not record a single conviction. As the world grows leaps and bounds in terms of inventions and discoveries, it is high time that we address this age old crime. Only when we come up with tangible solutions for the atrocities related to human trafficking, will we truly become a better world.
On this World Against Trafficking in Persons Day, we at CSR, stand by our commitment to empowering the women and girls of India and with our efforts, hope to tackle this menace head-on.
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