The first anti trafficking law in India proposes some stringent measures. A person injecting drugs to accelerate sexual maturity in a bid to force them into prostitution would invite a jail term of 10 years.
Stringent laws are the need of the hour to combat this mammoth problem, but there are still many areas that required to be worked upon if the problem is to be brought under control.
The number of cases relating to human trafficking is on the rise. From 2,848 cases in 2009 to 5,500 in 2014 does not exactly paint a pretty picture. Moreover it is for the states to join hands with the centre to work on this problem.
If one were to look at the statistics, it indicates that West Bengal accounted for 20.10 per cent of the cases in 2014. In 2014 a total of 1,1096 cases were reported from West Bengal. The statistics regarding the minor girls being trafficked in 2014 in West Bengal was at 852.
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were second and third with 509 and 472 cases. Assam and Telangana were next on the list with 407 and 398 cases respectively. In the case of minor girls being trafficked Assam, Bihar, Haryana and Odisha reported 303,280,277 and 74 cases respectively.
While stringent laws may solve the problem to a certain extent, the bigger problem lies in the lack of awareness and want of better amenities at the anti trafficking units. There have been several cases where the police have not acted enough. This is also coupled with the lack of awareness programmes that the state governments must undertake.
The other major issue is the manner in which the anti trafficking units function. First and foremost there is an urgent need for more anti trafficking units.
According to a reply given in the Rajya Sabha, there were only 270 such units set up until the month of January 2016 while the requirement was to set up 335 by 2013 itself.
Even the staff at these units are underpaid. The staff are not trained adequately and the infrastructure is poor. While certain units such as the one in Bengaluru is better equipped in West Bengal that is not the case. For a long time there was no dedicated line.
This delays the response time and many have even complained about the lack of response. The unit members however say that the funding is inadequate and hence the problem persists.