Child Trafficking

Child Trafficking: Meaning, Types, Reasons and Legal Measures

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Trafficking is a horrible crime in the world and child trafficking is one of them. According to a statement by the National Human Rights Commission of India, each year 40,000 children are kidnapped.[1] 

Meaning: Child trafficking means any minor person who is unlawfully compelled, transferred, shifted and received by threats, force, and coercion or provoking fear for exploitation, either in a country or outside country. The main purpose of trafficking is for the sale or forced to work. 

Child trafficking is one aspect of modern time slavery.  Children are enslaved by this practice to give cheap labor, accomplish illicit activities, works in hazardous circumstances. They work as domestic labors, compelled to smuggle drugs, child soldiers and prostitutes.

Types of Child Trafficking:-

A child can be a victim of various kinds of child trafficking. The types of child trafficking are stated below:

I) Domestic Slavery: Domestic slavery is a kind of slavery that is especially vulnerable to exploitation because of the situations of working inside a particular family incorporated with an absence of legal safety. Child slavery is the forced exploitation of a child for someone else’s gain. The child Slavers performs all the duties of the household even sometimes the children are victims of harassment.

II) Sexual Exploitation: sexual exploitation among children is one of the growing and most lucrative illegal activities in the world. The child traded within their countries or transported away from their homes and treated as items to be bought, sold, and resold for sexual exploitation.  Girls child are especially trafficked into the sex business.  

III) Forced Marriage: In many countries, children are trafficked to forcefully married without their will. These practices are dangerous to a child’s health and infringe the children’s rights. 

IV) Forced Labor: Children who work as forced labour does not get any wages for their livelihood. It irreversibly harms children’s health and development. Children from rural areas are easily influenced and unlikely to urge increased wages or better laboring circumstances.

V) Criminal Activities: Criminal activities among trafficked children are one of the crucial crisis of society. Children from rural areas and slums are traded by wrongdoers. The children are manipulated and forced to join in criminal activities.

Reasons behind Child Trafficking:-

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, As many as one child evaporates every eight minutes.[2] So, it is significant to understand the reasons behind child trafficking. There are several reasons liable for child trafficking. The reasons are given below:

I) Illiteracy: Illiteracy is one of the most popular problems that govern children to be trafficked. They are not educated enough to read anything and they have no idea what the intention of the opposite person. So, they easily got victims of child trafficking.

II) Poverty: Poverty is one of the major causes of child trafficking.  Poor families due to lack of food abandon their children.  They leave the children on road or sell them.  These children are easily lured in by vows of a decent life from traffickers.

III) Caste System: The caste system is still present in many sectors of the world. Low caste families are threatened by the upper class of society. Even the children of low Caste families are trafficked. 

IV) Ineffective Legislation: Every country has its legislation. Each country requires to have helpful legislation about child trafficking. Lawful punishments against child trafficking must be enacted by legislation.  

V) Corruption: Corruption is one of the reasons behind child trafficking. In growing corruption times, people want to become rich overnight, even joining gangs and engaging in frauds, doing unlawful things. Some greedy people choose to child trafficking trade. 

The issue of Child Trafficking has brought the attention of society. In India, child trafficking is a serious problem. According to National Crime Records Bureau, in 2016, West Bengal recorded 3,113 cases of child trafficking, the highest of 34% of whole cases in India.[3] Some legal measures against Child Traffickin are stated below:

The Constitution of India: Article 23(1) of the Constitution of India forbids trafficking in human beings. 

Article 24 of the Constitution of India upheld that any children below 14 years old shall not be employed in any hazardous job.

Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012: POCSO Act 2012 is a special law to secure children from sexual misuse and exploitation. This Act gives detailed explanations for various forms of sexual abuse, comprising penetrative and non-penetrative sexual assault and sexual harassment.[4]

The Child Labour [Prohibition and Regulation] Act, 1986: This Act contends on contributing minimum necessary facilities to the child workers. This Act also prevents the appointment of children under 14 years. 

Suppression of Immoral Traffic Acts: These Acts suppress prostitution and secure children. These Acts prohibits procedures related to prostitution such as soliciting in public areas, forcibly detaining children in brothels, using residential premises for operating brothels etc.

The Indian Penal Code, 1860: Section 366(a) of the Indian Penal Code stated that provoking any girl under 18 years old to go to any such location with the aim to compelled or seduced unlawful intercourse with another person shall be a punishable offence.

Section 366(b) of the Indian Penal Code deal with importing any girl under 21 years from a foreign nation with the intention of illegal intercourse with another person is a punishable offence.

Section 372 & 373 of the Indian Penal Code prohibits trading minor children for prostitution-related purposes. 

Section 374 of the Indian Penal Code deals with illicit compulsory labour. This provision penalizes any individual who illegally threatens any individual to labour against his will.


The crisis of child trafficking is haunting society at the entire level. Every child has the right to joyful childhood but for this menace, some child gets victims of inhumanity. Children are the future generations they are a valuable asset for the nation as well as society. To prevent child trafficking the government should take rigorous action against the criminals and the NGOs should take steps to aware the parents and children about this kind of trafficking. So, every child grows up in a safe environment.

By Shreeparna Goswami

3rd year of Shyambazar Law College.

[1] Child traffickin in India – Wikipedia,,each%20year%2C%20leaving%2011%2C000%20untraced.

[2] Child traffickin in India – Wikipedia,,each%20year%2C%20leaving%2011%2C000%20untraced.

[3] 3 In 5 People Trafficked Were Children,

[4] Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act — Vikaspedia,

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