New Delhi: Chief Justice of India Dipak Misra on Saturday termed human trafficking as “the greatest human tragedy” and called for better use of technology to combat the syndicate involved.e
“Human trafficking is the greatest human tragedy that has fallen up on us. It has to be avoided and the younger generation has to be the torchbearers against it. Human trafficking constitutes a great menace to the present and the future generation,” the CJI said, while addressing an ‘International Conference on Human Trafficking’ in Delhi.
Justice Misra noted how “slavery was human trafficking of the past and it exists in a different way even today. The people, who are involved in human trafficking, think that human beings are commodities. I would like to say the commoditisation of human beings has become an industry and this is a growing industry that is not visible. It’s a different kind of syndicate.” The CJI stressed on the need to disrupt the demand supply chain.
The conference was organised by the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation in Law (SAARCLAW), along with Justice and Care, a multidisciplinary organisation fighting human trafficking.
Among other speakers, Nepal Supreme Court judge Justice Sapana Pradhan Malla, in her special address, said that technology has created the market for human trafficking and has made victims more vulnerable.
“Technology has become a strong tool in the hands of perpetrators. It has made victims more vulnerable. The market it is creating is also exploiting victims and therefore we need to discuss on how to control and use technology to fight human trafficking,” noted judge Malla.
Acting chief Justice of Delhi high court Justice Gita Mittal underlined that “trafficking exists not because a few thousand people commit it, but because millions stay silent about it”. She called for effective prosecution of the kingpins of human traffickers.
Justice Mittal said that trafficking is completely demanddriven and explained the need to emulate the Nordic model, which criminalises customers of sex trafficking. “When customers of sex trafficking are criminalised, it drives down the demand. This hits the very root of trafficking operations,” she said.
Attorney General of India K K Venugopal, who also addressed the gathering, mentioned various statutes in the Indian legal system to curb human trafficking. He said the boundaries that exist today do not stand in the way so far as the members of SAARC are concerned.
“We are hoping SAARC law acts as a catalyst in bringing together citizens of SAARC countries as we have a common heritage by culture and in some cases, language too,” said AGI Venugopal.
I would like to say the commoditisation of human beings has become an industry and this is a growing industry that is not visible. It’s a different kind of syndicate
DIPAK MISRA | CJI