Modern day slavery too often goesunpunished in India,says report
NEW DELHI (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - A shortage of specialized legal careand protection means that victims of trafficking and bonded labor in Indiafail to get justice and perpetrators continue to buy and sell people withimpunity, a report said on Monday.
The study by the Freedom Fund and ThomsonReuters Foundation said charities on the frontline of anti-trafficking effortswere unable to support victims to pursue their cases in court as they werechronically under funded and poorly trained.
"Traffickers are motivated by highprofits and the low risk due to weak law enforcement and low levels ofprosecution. To tackle human trafficking, prosecution and punishment ofoffenders must be pursued as well as legal action to seize the assets andprofits of traffickers," said the report.
"While prosecutions alone will notbring an end to trafficking, there is immense potential to use legal strategiesto deliver justice to victims, deter potential perpetrators and put traffickersout of business," it added.
India ishome to more than 14 million victims of slavery, ranging from bonded labor toprostitution, according to the 2014 Global Slavery Index. The index found Indiahad by far the greatest number of slaves of the 167 countries surveyed.
Thousands of Indians - largely poor, ruralwomen and children - are lured to cities each year by traffickers who promisegood jobs but sell them into domestic or sex work or to industries such asbrick kilns and textile workshops.
In many cases, they are not paid or areheld in debt bondage. Some go missing, with their families unable to tracethem.
In January, hundreds of children traffickedand enslaved to make bangles were rescued by police in the southern city of Hyderabad. Some of thechildren were as young as six.
The report, which is based on interviewswith NGOs, lawyers, survivors, police and government child welfare officers in New Delhi, Bihar andUttar Pradesh, said that despite thousands of people being rescued, many perpetratorswent unpunished.
For example, although 2,313 bonded laborerswere identified and released between 1996 and 2005 in Uttar Pradesh – anorthern state with a population of around 200 million - only 225 prosecutionswere initiated.
One of main reasons for the low rate ofprosecutions and convictions, said the report, is the lack of victimprotection.
"NGOs stated that after victims arerescued and a criminal case is lodged, often the subsequent policeinvestigation and prosecution does not result in a conviction," said thestudy.
"Victims are often harassed,intimidated, and become vulnerable to social stigma, on top of poorinvestigations, slow trials and insensitive court environments, resulting inthe victim feeling further victimized."
India'snew anti-trafficking law, Section 370, which has expanded the definition oftrafficking and toughened penalties, could help deliver justice to manyvictims, said the report.
Javed 19 hours ago
The fruits of the brah(ver)min's"teaching" are here for all to see, they low caste people are nothingbut slaves, just watch this video on youtube "india untouched " andbe ready to get amazed what humanity is going through in the cesspit!
Sarafina 22 hours ago
Poor India needs lots and lots of freebirth control.