Action against ‘Customers’ zero in Andhra Pradesh
The functions of AHTUs primarily include registering cases of human trafficking, conducting raid and rescue operations for survivors of trafficking, carrying out investigations on all aspects of the crime, collecting evidence, effectively prosecuting traffickers, collecting, disseminating and utilising intelligence on human trafficking and the sharing of information on traffickers to concerned law enforcement agencies.
Sexual exploitation can invoke legal provisions of the Indian Penal Code, 1860 (‘IPC’), the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (‘ITPA’) and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012 (‘POCSO’). Complaints of human trafficking can be made before the local police, who ideally have to transfer such cases to the jurisdictional AHTU.
The RTI questions asked for information regarding the number of cases of human trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation that were registered under ITPA, IPC and POCSO on a yearly basis, from FY 2010-11 till FY 2018-19. The number survivors rescues, investigations, arrests of traffickers / accused, prosecutions before Courts, convictions and acquittals were included in the questions and the RTI also included questions on the number of cases of human trafficking for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation that were transferred from the local police to the AHTUs. The RTI also enquired as to the number of cases that were investigated by the local police themselves, without transferring the same to the jurisdictional AHTUs.
In addition to the consolidated national state/UT-wise data, Andhra Pradesh has kept data on the persons who have been arrested as accused in human trafficking cases, including ‘clientele, as follows:
Action against ‘Customers’ in Andhra Pradesh
|year||Arrests of clients||Charge Sheets||Aquittals /discharge||Convections|
Even though no convictions took place, it is clear that ‘customers’ who engage in commercial sexual exploitation have been arrested in Andhra Pradesh. Further, Andhra Pradesh is the only state/UT that provided data on victim compensation, showing that a few survivors were recommended for compensation
Every year (2016, 2017 , 2018 ,). The majority of victims were trafficked for ‘sexual exploitation for prostitution’.
Cases of Trafficking under Different Laws
States and UTs provided data on the number of cases registered under provisions of the IPC, ITPA and POCSO, as follows.
- In Andhra Pradesh . Under IPC – 379, ITPA – 330, POCSO – 3 out of this cases Convictions – 12, Acquittals – 280
- The lowest number of IPC, ITPA and POCSO cases were seen in Mizoram (4), Mizoram (7) and Andhra Pradesh (3), respectively.
source: AHTU Watch – SANJOG & TAFTEESH