The Article ‘Prostitution, Slavery, and Human Trafficking: The Worldwide Practices of Eliminating them‘ by Muskan Tandon is a thorough analysis of various kinds of modern slavery which covers the trafficking of human beings for commercial purposes. These acts are full of corruption. Prostitution in simple words means the exchange of sexual pleasure for monetary gain. As such, there… Read More »

The Article ‘Prostitution, Slavery, and Human Trafficking: The Worldwide Practices of Eliminating them‘ by Muskan Tandon is a thorough analysis of various kinds of modern slavery which covers the trafficking of human beings for commercial purposes. These acts are full of corruption. Prostitution in simple words means the exchange of sexual pleasure for monetary gain. As such, there is both violation of human rights as well as the dignity of an individual.

The Article deals with Slavery and its explanation with the help of case laws. Various international bodies like ILO, UN Human Rights Council, etc. keep an eye on the above-mentioned acts so as to stop their practices. The Article covers legislative provisions along with case laws. The Author’s desire is to see everyone educated and recruited. This would remove the financial issues and also the world would become a better place i.e. free from cheap practices prevailing worldwide.

A Brief Introduction: Prostitution, Slavery, and Human Trafficking

The most horrific crime of our day is slavery, prostitution, and human trafficking. Many people are trapped as slaves in today’s contemporary world, generating large sums of money for their traffickers. Human trafficking jeopardises national security. Because it is a corrupted and organised crime, it affects everyone in a state. The rights of the people and a trafficked person’s dignity are damaged since they are not treated with the respect that our Indian society deserves. The Constitution protects you. They are frequently exploited, raped, or killed. This was the subject of discussion.

Since the late 1990s, international security has been a hot topic. Sexual trafficking is on the rise. Forced labour is less common. Countries recognized sexual orientation as exploitation, while forced labour was never deemed exploitation. Slavery, prostitution, and human trafficking are the three areas of criminal law that are addressed.

Prostitution and slavery are examples of modern slavery that fall under the category of human trafficking for commercial gain. These are the three crimes that must be eradicated or human life will be jeopardized. For the sake of money, people are lowering themselves. The main cause of consensual prostitution and slavery is a lack of funds. They sell their bodies to others since they are usually not financially stable. For such an increasing rate, everyone must be educated and well-recruited in order to prevent financial concerns.

I. Prostitution

Prostitution is the act of engaging in the sale of human flesh for a fee. Prostitution is defined as the exchange of sexual pleasure for monetary gain. Prostitution is often known as commercial sex because the primary motivation is to make money. Prostitution has been around for a long time. It has existed since ancient times and affects people of all ages and genders. It is sometimes one’s own fault. Although some of them want to work in the flesh trade, the bulk is compelled to do so. This is governed by the law. Countries and regions are distinct from one another. Many individuals believe that it is a form of ferocity directed against women.

Prostitution is a violation of a person’s dignity and human rights. It is irreconcilable with the fundamental concept of our Indian Constitution, which guarantees everyone the right to a dignified and secure existence. Others’ perceptions reveal that their lives are filled with agony, brutality, and disrespectful treatment. The term “prostitution” refers to more than just the sex trade; it embraces a wide range of activities.


  • In India, there is a common belief that prostitution is illegal; nonetheless, prostitution is permitted, but pimping, possessing, and handling brothels are prohibited. The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA) was revised in 1986 to include prostitution restrictions. India was intended to sign a United Nations declaration against human trafficking in 1950, hence this revision occurred.
  • For example, this Act makes it illegal to manage a sex racquet, but it does not make it illegal to engage in private prostitution or receive money in exchange for sex. In the case of State v. Sharda, it was established that the term “brothel” does not simply refer to a house, room, space, or share of a house used for the purpose of sexual exploitation. However, it is a location where two or more prostitutes work together on a voluntary basis. And the girls in the case were living in a Kotha and voluntarily engaged in prostitution.
  • The Indian Penal Code, 1860, likewise addresses prostitution, but only in the context of children. However, it also includes provisions for kidnapping for the purpose of seduction, coercion into sex, and the trade of foreign ladies, among other things. Kidnapping, selling, and forcing kids into prostitution are prohibited by sections 366(A) and 372 of the Indian Penal Code, 1860.

In the case of State v. Haseena, it was decided that if a minor kid is discovered in a brothel and has been sexually assaulted, it is considered that the minor child was confined for the purpose of prostitution. The prosecutrix stated unequivocally that she was forced to do so and that she was even beaten for refusing.

Despite the fact that she could not be found guilty under Section 376 and Section 109 of the IPC, 1860, it was sufficient evidence to convict the suspect for the offence punishable under Section 5 of the ITP Act.

II. Slavery

Slavery has a long history in our country. It has existed for ages throughout civilization. It’s a system in which people are viewed as property of others. The poorer classes were essentially included in this. It’s a system in which people are exchanged like other commodities on the open market.

The term slavery was clarified in the case of Mohammad Ali Al Gitar v. State of Uttar Pradesh:

“Whoever imports, exports, removes, buys, sells, or disposes of any person as a slave, or accepts, receives, or detains any person as a slave against his will shall be punished.”

One person’s ownership is transferred to another. It was a one-sided agreement between a master and a slave. It is usually a form of bonded labour for the rest of his life or until his masters free him from slavery, in which he is forced to work against his will.


  • The Indian Slavery Act of 1843 regulates the practice of slavery in India. The origins of this Act can be traced back to the East India Company’s reign. The Act explains how slavery was outlawed, and anyone caught doing so is subject to the laws of the India Penal Code, 1860, which makes it a punishable offence.
  • Victims of forced labour are also protected by labour law, as they are entitled to wages commensurate with their job. Fair working conditions must be provided for labourers. The Supreme Court ruled in Bandhua Mukti Morcha v. Union of India (1997) 10 SCC 549 that a substantial number of employees were forced to labour in stone mines under inhumane and unbearable conditions.

III.Human Trafficking

Forced labour, enslavement, and prostitution are all forms of human trafficking. Human trafficking infringes on a person’s fundamental right to a dignified and secure life. Human trafficking is an illicit commercial enterprise that mostly targets women, children, migrants, marginalized communities, and war victims.

In the case of U. Gopakumar v. State of Kerala, the appellants’ counsel claimed that the accused was routinely involved in human trafficking and that he trafficked a large number of people on a regular basis. Thus, the basic parts of Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC) of 1869, which criminalizes human trafficking, were mentioned. Human trafficking has sometimes been described as a form of modern slavery.


  • The Indian government punishes human trafficking for the purpose of commercial sex under the ITPA Act, which carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison or life in prison.
  • Bonded labour or forced labour is illegal in India under the Bonded Labor Abolition Act of 1976, the Child Labour Act of 1986, and the Juvenile Justice Act of 2015. The Punjab Prevention of Human Smuggling Act, 2012, is an example of how state governments have taken initiatives and established legislation to address such situations.
  • In the case of the State of Uttarakhand v. Sartaj Khan, it was stated that the state parties must develop and maintain direct communication channels to improve border control cooperation. The Act Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 was also passed during this time.

IV. The Worldwide Practice of eliminating it.

  • Anti-slavery is a sensible development approach, according to the Sustainable Development Goals. These operative actions are being enacted in order to eliminate forced labour, modern slavery, human trafficking, and all forms of child labour by 2025.
  • The International Labour Organization, the United Nations Economic Council, and the Commission on Human Rights; the United Nations Human Rights Council; the United Nations Security Council; and UN entities such as UNODC (United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime) and UNICEF, among others, keep a close eye on prostitution, slavery, and human trafficking.
  • STOP (Stop Trafficking and Oppression of Women and Children) has been in action since 1998, with the main goal of breaking the cycle of trafficking and uplifting through education, legal movements, and the rescue of children and women from various forms of slavery and human trafficking.


To sum up, appropriate efforts should be done to provide everyone with educational rights, monetary benefits, good health care benefits, housing, remuneration, and recruitment rehabilitation services. In today’s world, modern slaves are not physically confined to one location but are forced to work in such conditions. They are constantly threatened with eviction and physical or sexual abuse.

To begin, police, armed forces, border guards, and prosecutors must prosecute traffickers, protect victims, and prevent trafficking. In such cases, victims are subjected to double or even triple victimization; after being protected from their traffickers, some officials take advantage of the situation, and society suffers as a result.


[1] Julie Bindel, Prostitution is not a job, Available Here

[2] Equality and Human Rights Commission, Available Here

[3] Maria Fernanda Perez Solla, Slavery and Human Trafficking International Law and the Role of the World Bank, Available Here

Updated On 14 Jun 2022 9:14 AM GMT
Muskan Tandon

Muskan Tandon

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