Human trafficking encompasses a wide range of activities and persons, many of whom do not even initially realise that they are going to be trafficked.This book elaborates the term “trafficking” with a view to understanding its trends, dimensions, and gaps in policy and law that need to be plugged as well as aims to initiate fresh discussion on human trafficking along with recommendations to curb organised international crime. Exploring varied dimensions of the crime, it offers further classification to help effectively address the problem. It presents a new perspective of identifying assimilative interaction between social and criminal justice systems, the progressive growth in sociocriminal legislations, and the universal demand of multi-agency approach to combat trafficking. Prior to this bookVeerendra Mishra edited a volume titled Human Trafficking (also Sage) comprising 29 articles under six sections, by various authors.

The Palermo Protocol was instituted to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. Also referred to as the Trafficking Protocol (UNTIP), it is a protocol to the Convention against Transnational Organised Crime and is one of the three Palermo protocols. In addition to the criminalisation of trafficking, the Trafficking in Persons Protocol requires criminalisation also of attempts to commit a trafficking offence, participation as an accomplicein such an offence and organising or directing others to commit trafficking. National legislation should adopt the broad definition of trafficking prescribed in the Protocol. The legislative definition should be dynamic and flexible so as to empower the legislative framework to respond effectively to trafficking which (a) occurs both across borders and within a country (not just cross-border), (b) is for not just sexual exploitation, but a range of exploitative purposes, (c) victimises children, women and men – not just women or adults, but also men and children and (d) happens with or without the involvement of organised crime groups.

The definition contained in article 3 of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol is meant to provide consistency and consensus around the world on the phenomenon of trafficking in persons. Article 5 therefore requires that the conduct set out in article 3 be criminalised in domestic legislation. Domestic legislation does not need to follow the language of the Trafficking in Persons Protocol precisely, but should be adapted in accordance with domestic legal systems to give effect to the concepts contained in the Protocol.

There are some horrendous forms of human trafficking which need to be countered. For instance, camel racing is a sport for which in Arab States of the Persian Gulf, children are often favoured as jockeys because of their light weight. Thousands of children, some reported as young as 2 years old, are trafficked from countries such as Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Pakistan, and Sudan for use as jockeys for the Persian Gulf region camel racing industry, for which reported estimates of child camel jockeys range from 5,000 to 40,000.

LTTE, ISIS, Boko Haram and many Pakistani terrorist groups, have reportedly been involved in human trafficking of not only women for sexual exploitation, but also of young boys to join their ranks. ISIS has crossed all limits by trafficking small children to teach/motivate them to behead and burn humans with the use of dolls. While human trafficking can be tackled, neutralising ISIS will require a sincere and sustained global effort.

Pakistan’s army and its intelligence agencies are much experienced in human trafficking. One early classic example was when Angami Zappu Phizo was sent to UK from erstwhile East Pakistan. In more recent times, what about criminal dons like Dawood Ibrahim? With this second book on a complex subject like human trafficking, the author has indeed contributed an exhaustive work, which will be valuable to scholars, researchers and government officials involved in the process

Lt Col Anil Bhat

Col Anil Bhat (retd) is an independent defence and security analyst he is also an Editor at Word Sword Features

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