• Antara Basu


“What I’m passing through right now is so big, so serious, I see myself as a grown-up,” says Mary*, a Nigerian teenager who was taken to Italy by sex traffickers. “I missed ever being a child.”

Millions of survivor stories flood the web, just as thousands of cases go unreported, and several pieces of legislation bring into effect new laws each passing year. The problem of trafficking in persons to its very core is a crime against humanity, and it continues to haunt us at all levels.

Karla’s story is just one amongst many;

"I thought they were disgusting. They knew we were minors. We were not even developed. We had sad faces. There were girls who were only 10 years old. There were girls who were crying. They told the officers they were minors and nobody paid attention,"
"These minors are being abducted, lured, and yanked away from their families. Don't just listen to me. You need to learn about what happened to me and take the blindfold off your eyes."

Human Trafficking as defined by the United Nations, in the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the

United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, states,

"Trafficking in persons" shall mean the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harboring or receipt of persons, by means of the 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 a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labor or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.”

Recently with the surge of the COVID pandemic, whilst conditions are already frail, UNODC released a report explaining the detrimental impact of this unprecedented crisis on trafficking. With a sharp decline in the overall economy, we all have heard of or experienced massive downsizing in all professional domains and the consequent layoffs. The fact being that in a situation where the white-collar industry is collapsing, the blue-collar industry takes an even larger hit. Migrant workers, the poor, and destitute sections of society are worse off than ever before, be it a lack of monetary resources or even basic survival needs of food, housing, and sanitation. With this rising trend of economic strain and unemployment, the conditions are becoming quite compatible with the trafficking of people.

The National Crime Records Bureau contains detailed reports of human trafficking in India, and the cases across the country are staggering. Policy changes or creating new acts to curb the issue of traffick of persons do no good in the absence of effective implementation. Human trafficking dissolves within itself many variants. From modern slavery, coerced labor, child labor, or forced prostitution, trafficked persons may find themselves in various situations.

To go into the root of this issue, it’d incite a new classification of time. But the global community cannot afford to give up millions of lives into this sacrificial cycle of transnational crime. As conscious citizens, we have to be willing to report cases we know to be true, to identify suspicious behavior, and to take necessary action. At the universal level, cooperation and coordination amongst foreign governments is a prerequisite. Given the transnational nature of this crime, it is of paramount importance that states work together to minimize and finally eradicate the issue of human trafficking.


This human trafficking day lets accelerate change. If you are interested in working towards eliminating this threat or want to support the survivors, several non-governmental organizations are working towards a similar cause.

URBAN LIGHT: According to the United Nations, there are over 27 million modern-day slaves worldwide. These numbers are often under-reported, but Urban Light exists to change that. Urban Light is one of the only organizations of their kind to specifically focus on helping young men and providing an outlet for safety, health, and renewal. Most people in Thailand and around the world don't want to acknowledge the existence of male sex trafficking and exploitation – but Urban Light is here to educate, advocate and bring attention to the dark realities these young men face.

PRAJWALA: Prajwala is a pioneering anti-trafficking organization working on the issue of sex trafficking and sex crime. Established in the year 1996 in South India, Prajwala has pan India and International operations. Prajwala works on the five pillars of Prevention, Protection, Rescue, Rehabilitation & Reintegration. In the last decade, it has become one of the most powerful voices nationally and globally for ensuring holistic victim services.

POLARIS: Founded in 2002, Polaris is named for the North Star, which people held in slavery in the United States used as a guide to navigating their way to freedom. Today we are filling in the roadmap for that journey and lighting the path ahead.


· Serving victims and survivors through the National Human Trafficking Hotline.

· Building a dataset that illuminates how human trafficking really works, in real-time.

· Turning knowledge into targeted systems-level strategies to disrupt and prevent human trafficking.

INTERNATIONAL JUSTICE MISSION: International Justice Mission (IJM) is a global organization that protects the most vulnerable from violence and oppression irrespective of their gender, community, caste, race, and ethnicity. IJM India works with the State and Central governments on two forms of human trafficking—bonded labor and sex trafficking of minors. We work alongside government officials and grassroots organizations to rescue and rehabilitate victims, prosecute offenders, and train public justice officials.



Rescue Foundations investigations team works all year round, across the country. We receive missing reports from NGO partners, police departments, and family members and conduct operations accordingly.


Survivors are entered into Holistic Rehabilitation programs that begin with Psychosocial counseling and Healthcare. During the course of their stay, they are also trained in several vocations and skills, while formal and informal education is a priority. Legal aid is provided to prosecute accused perpetrators.


Based on Court orders, and upon completion of the rehabilitation period, survivors are repatriated to their homes via local NGOs and Local Police. Cross border repatriation is made possible by maintaining relationships with foreign governments & embassies.