Has Human Trafficking Declined in Andhra Pradesh?

By Has Human Trafficking Declined in Andhra Pradesh?

– An analysis by HELP on NCRB crime report 2020

The Good Points

  • The latest National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) report 2020 reveals that there has been a decrease in the cases of Human Trafficking in Andhra Pradesh. The number of cases reduced to 171 from 245, as reported2019 edition of the report.
  • In the year 2019 a total of 425 victims were rescued from trafficking, out of which 245 cases were registered. In 2020, only 171 cases were registered however, a total of 247 victims were rescued from trafficking. Andhra Pradesh stood 2nd in the year 2019 in the registration of cases of human trafficking whereas in 2020 stands on 3rd
  • HELP analysed the report, and since we work extensively on the ground on the issue of human trafficking, our initial analysis suggest that one of the reasons behind the decline in number, could be lesser rescue operations in the year 2019-20, which may have resulted in less reporting of cases of trafficking.

In addition, we have also observed that human trafficking, sex work and sexual exploitation patterns change, hence those numbers may get missed out. Furthermore, due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the law enforcement and concerned governmentdepartments enhanced their monitoring towards prevention of the spread of the pandemic, which may have caused a shift in the focus on prevention of human trafficking.

  • The state of Telangana which was at the 7th position in the cases of human trafficking during the year 2019, now raised to 2nd place in the year 2020. Because, there was an increased vigilance over the traffickers through 30 established AHTUsacross 30 districts of the state and also frequent rescue operations. This resulted not only in booking of high number of cases but also in arresting 752 traffickers, out of which 684 charge sheets have been filed. At the same time in Andhra Pradesh, it is to be noted that 619 traffickers have been arrested whereas charge sheets were filed only for 324, which is almost around 50%.
  • Further, 13 traffickers have been convicted in A.P and 181 have been acquitted/discharged by the court. Concurrently, in Telangana 2 traffickers have been convicted while only 126 have been acquitted/discharged by the court of law.
  • In this context, while taking in to consideration all the issues cited above, it could be understood that, because of the priority given and established AHTUs in all the districts of the states in Telangana, a greater number of victims have been rescued as well as a good number of cases also been registered. This resulted in 100 percent timely filing of charge sheets as well in concerned courts of law.

We recommend, the Government of Andhra Pradesh to take necessary steps to set-up AHTUs in all the districts, so that a high number of victims will be rescued.

Numerous doubts against the NCRB data:

  • In 2020 crime report, one chapter has been given especially with the details of cases of human trafficking in 11 pages under chapter 4. But, whether the ITPA cases have been incorporated in this chapter or not?
  • Under Sec 366 IPC for procuration of minor girls, it is reported that 53 cases have been registeredin A.P. in the year 2020 but surprisingly, 54 minor girls have been rescued under the same. However, it is to ensure that, whether these cases are included in the chapter of human trafficking?
  • Under Sec 370 IPC for Human Trafficking, it was reported that there are 38 cases have been registered and 42 victims have been rescued. But it is also to relook into it that, whether these cases have been joined in Human Trafficking chapter.
  • A total number of 53 cases have been registered and 63 victims have been identified Under Sec. 370A IPC which is for exploitation of trafficked persons.
  • Simultaneously, it is reported that, under SLL Crimes as per ITP Act, 65 cases have been booked and 100 victims have been rescued.
  • Under Sec 370 and 370A IPC of Human Trafficking crimes there are 64 cases have been registered and 71 victims rescued. In the tables it was separately mentioned 38 cases Under Sec 370 and 53 cases Under Sec 370A. But this data is not matching with the numbers shown in the table 3 A.2(i).
  • It is quoted in table 3 A.2 (ii) under SLL Crimes against women, there are 48 cases registered under ITPA and 64 victims have been rescued.
  • However, there is no matching of all these cases with the numbers cited in the chapter of Human Trafficking. Hence, it is doubted that, whether all the above cases mentioned in different areas have been incorporated under Human Trafficking chapter or not?
  • It is mentioned in table 3 A.2(ii) Under Sec.5 of ITPA for procuring, inducing children for the purpose of prostitution 17 cases have been registered and 17 children have been rescued. But, it is uncertain that whether these cases are the part of above cited 48 cases?
  • It is observed in table 4 A.2 (ii) under SLL crimes against children there are 6 cases registered in A.P under Sec 5 of ITPA and mentioned that there are 6 victims in these cases.
  • At one place Under Sec 7 for prostitution in or in the vicinity of public places there are 4 cases have been registered and it is shown that there are 7 victims.
  • In the table 3 A.2(ii) while mentioning that it is only for women victims’ cases, again shown that 27 cases have been registered under other sections of ITPA and 40 victims have been identified.
  • All the way, it was found thatthere is a dilemma or uncertainty in the data of ITPA cases in the NCRB report 2020.

Numerous doubts against the NCRB data:

  • In view of low number of human trafficking cases reported in NCRB Crime Report 2020 Mr. Ram Mohan NVS, Secretary of HELP organisation opined that pattern of trafficking and sexual exploitation changed during pandemic.
  • It is a well-known fact that, in the wake of aggressive COVID 19 pandemic outbreaks with its repeated waves the socio-economic conditions of the families have badly been devastated resulted in enhanced scope of abuse, exploitation and trafficking of women and children.
  • However, lockdown and various restrictions on people mobility from one place to another has shown the impact on “traditional method of trafficking” besides the changes in modes of transportation from trains to bus with regard to interstate trafficking and so on.
  • Ram Mohan added that, perhaps, one of the reasons may be of smaller number of rescue operations resulted in less reported cases of trafficking.
  • In addition, trafficking, sex work and sexual exploitation pattern changed and hence those numbers may get missed out.
  • However, it is evident that, the focus of not only law enforcement but also of the line departments kept on the issues related to the enforced preventive measures and protocols to control COVID 19 pandemic outbreak