The Advent of a Legislation Proscribing Trafficking in India: A Prescriptive Package for Victims of Trafficking or a Mere Rhetoric?

  • Beulah ShekharEmail author
  • Vijaya Somasundaram
Living reference work entry


With the highest number of victims of trafficking, India is a source, transit, and destination country for human trafficking. It is a serious cause for concern that the country has no comprehensive legislation to curb this crime. India has so far shown a commitment to prevent this type of victimization by being a signatory to international conventions including the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons (2000). A penal law, the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girls Act, enforced in 1958 was further amended as the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1986 (ITPA). However, this law is severely limited in scope and is not victim friendly. Recently the Indian government has introduced the “Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2018” which claims to use a three-pronged strategy to tackle this type of victimization through prevention, protection, and rehabilitation of victims. However, as the bill is steered through parliament on its way to becoming a law, it faces severe criticism in the media, which termed it a failure, while civil society organizations including human rights groups continue to oppose it on numerous fronts. This paper critically discusses the responses of stakeholders identifying the sources of their angst and the critical flaws in the bill in the light of the international antihuman trafficking discourse. This reveals how this issue if not addressed could defeat the bill’s very purpose of making any significant impact toward reducing human trafficking in this part of the world.


Trafficking Victimization Prevention Protection Rehabilitation 


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Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Criminology & Criminal JusticeManonmaniam Sundaranar UniversityTirunelveliIndia
  2. 2.Department of Management StudiesRajalakshmi Engineering CollegeChennaiIndia

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