Blue Heart Campaign
World Day Against Trafficking in Persons was celebrated on 30 July, this year theme wasfocus on the first responders to human trafficking.
Who are the First Responders?
• People who work in different sectors - identifying, supporting, counselling and seeking justice for victims of trafficking, and challenging the impunity of the traffickers.
• During COVID-19 crisis, the essential role of first responders has become even more important, particularly as the restrictions imposed by the pandemic have made their work even more difficult. Still, their contribution is often overlooked and unrecognized.
What is Human Trafficking?
Human trafficking is a global problem and one of the world's most shameful crimes, affecting the lives of millions of people around the world and robbing them of their dignity.
According to the United Nations, human trafficking is defined as "the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at the minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of other or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs".
The Blue Heart Campaign
The Blue Heart Campaign is a global awareness raising initiative to fight human trafficking and its impact on society.
It seeks to encourage involvement from governments, civil society, the corporate sector and individuals alike, to inspire action and help prevent this heinous crime.
The Blue Heart is increasingly recognized as the international symbol against human trafficking, representing the sadness of those who are trafficked while reminding us of the cold-heartedness of those who buy and sell fellow human beings.
The campaign allows people to show their solidarity with the victims of human trafficking and increasing their visibility by wearing the Blue Heart.
Donations to the Blue Heart campaign go to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, which provides vital assistance and protection to the victims of trafficking through specialized organizations across the globe.
How does the Blue Heart Campaign support trafficking victims?
All proceeds to the Blue Heart Campaign go to the United Nations Voluntary Trust Fund for Victims of Trafficking in Persons, especially women and children.
Trust Fund was created as an integral component of a global effort to address trafficking in persons.
In August 2010, member states of the UNGA established the Trust Fund to provide the opportunity for people from all walks of life including governments, the private sector, international organizations, NGOs and individuals to work together to help victims of human trafficking in a practical and tangible manner.
United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime was tasked with the management of the Trust Fund.
Constitutional & legislative provisions related to Trafficking in India
o Trafficking in Human Beings or Persons is prohibited under Article 23 (1).
o The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (ITPA) is the premier legislation for prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
o Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 has come into force and sec. 370 and sec. 370A of the Indian Penal Code which provide for comprehensive measures to counter the menace of human trafficking including trafficking of children for exploitation in any form including physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.
o Protection of Children from Sexual offences (POCSO) Act, 2012, which has come into effect from 14th November, 2012 is a special law to protect children from sexual abuse and exploitation. It provides precise definitions for different forms of sexual abuse, including penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault, sexual harassment.
o There are other specific legislations enacted relating to trafficking in women and children Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, Bonded Labour System (Abolition) Act, 1976, Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, Transplantation of Human Organs Act, 1994, apart from specific sections in the IPC, e.g. sec. 372 and 373 dealing with selling and buying of girls for the purpose of prostitution.
o State Governments have also enacted specific legislations to deal with the issue. (e.g. The Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012)
Measures taken by centre to prevent and combat Human Trafficking?
1. Anti-Trafficking Cell (ATC): Anti-Trafficking Nodal Cell was set up in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) (CS Division in 2006 to act as a focal point for communicating various decisions and follow up on action taken by the State Governments to combat the crime of Human Trafficking. MHA conducts coordination meetings with the Nodal Officers of Anti Human Trafficking Units nominated in all States/UTs periodically.
2. Capacity Building: To enhance the capacity building of law enforcement agencies and generate awareness among them, various Training of Trainers (TOT) workshops on Combating Trafficking in Human Beings for Police officers and for Prosecutors at Regional level, State level and District level were held throughout the country.
3. Judicial Colloquium: In order to train and sensitize the trial court judicial officers, Judicial Colloquium on human trafficking are held at the High Court level. The aim is to sensitize the judicial officers about the various issues concerning human trafficking and to ensure speedy court process. So far, eleven Judicial Colloquiums have been held at Chandigarh, Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand and Odisha.