Why we need an effective prevention mechanism ?

The Constitution of India prohibits human trafficking and there are several laws in place to deter it. But it remains one of the largest organised crimes, with thousands of women and children trafficked every year. Data shows that most human trafficking victims, mainly women and girls, end up as victims of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (CSE)/sex workers. According to the National Crime Records Bureau reports Mumbai, Kolkata, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh had the highest cases of human trafficking in women and children, mainly for sexual exploitation, child labour and forced marriage.

A research report by Dasra says that approximately 16 million women are victims of sex trafficking in India a year. Almost 40% of them are adolescents and children. Lack of proper implementation of laws and low conviction rates are the main reasons for the increasing number of cases of sex trafficking in India. For instance, the Union Ministry of Home Affairs admitted in Parliament that states like Assam, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Goa, Maharashtra, Odisha and Punjab did not see a single conviction in human trafficking cases in 2020 despite hundreds of accused going into trial.

While continued efforts in protection and prosecution are essential, human trafficking prevention strategies deserve commensurate attention and resources. According to the U.S. Department of State’s TIP report, effective prevention efforts address the tactics of human traffickers head on. With the dissemination of accurate and targeted information, communities will be better prepared to respond to the threat of human trafficking. Strategic intervention programs can reach at-risk populations before they are faced with deceitful recruitment practices of those bent on exploiting them for labor or commercial sex. Meaningful partnerships between public and private sectors and civil society can expand awareness, leverage expertise, and facilitate creative solutions.

HELP is one of the frontline organisations in Andhra Pradesh that actively works in prevention, rescue, rehabilitation, reintegration and advocacy to combat trafficking and restore dignity to victims of CSE. HELP is conducting intelligence-based operations with the assistance of the police to rescue sex trafficking victims in brothels both from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states. Founded in 1993 as a nonprofit, HELP organization has saved over 1,250 sex trafficking victims in various parts of both Telugu Speaking states. HELP’s legal team works with survivors of Human Trafficking and Public prosecutors to convict traffickers and other perpetrators involved in the crime and tries to get compensation for victims.

HELP rescues and rehabilitates human trafficking victims with a particular focus on children. It operates among the most vulnerable sections in the state of Andhra Pradesh. The organisation estimates that around 500,000 children are forced into the sex trade every year in India. And they also face physical violence and are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS. HELP is involved in the campaign, advocacy, and sensitisation of various stakeholders on the issue. Socio-economic reintegration of the trafficked victims is also important for HELP.

We need your precious support for enhancing the interventions of HELP in prevention of human trafficking programmes and activities to sensitise and involve systemic stakeholders including general public, line departments, statutory bodies, activists, academicians, youth, civil society organisations, CBOs and corporate sector with collective efforts to combat the crime.

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