Noxious and Evil

Noxious and Evil
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The ‘Global Report on Trafficking in Persons 2018’ from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) drawing on information from 142 countries, examining trafficking trends and patterns has reported that human trafficking is taking on “horrific dimensions”, with sexual exploitation of victims the main driver. Children now account for 30 per cent of those being trafficked, and far more girls are detected than boys, the report has added. This is as noxious and evil as can be. In a world which claims to have become modern and defined by refined sensibilities and sensitivities, the evil of human trafficking is a blot on it. But, having said this, as with all things good and bad, it is to the causes and not mere symptoms that attention must be directed to. The question then is: what accounts for and explains human trafficking, in general, and the noxious trend of the same, with respect to children? The answers are multifarious but the major one(s) can be isolated to poverty and desperation thereof, especially in the developing or poor country context. Generally speaking, few people are evil or bad inherently; it is context that makes them so( in general terms, to repeat). In this sense, poverty , not only in the nature of a scourge but also an atrocity, determines, at times, the moral compass of people and then desperation makes some take recourse to insalubrious actions and deeds. ( At times, the problem assumes horrible forms and some people go to the extent of using their children, to either survive or , sometimes, quite opportunistically, for economic gain. Poverty and the attendant desperation is exploited by unscrupulous elements, who have no qualms in making some desperate people to take recourse to the unthinkable. This, to a large extent, explains , the causal factors of human trafficking. But there is more. If there would have been no demand, then there would have been no supply or, put another way, supply would have naturally dried up. So, there is a problem on the demand side too. Admittedly, these are reductive explanations of the causes but, given that these form the major thrust , their significance cannot be over states. Against this backdrop, can anything be done to prevent human trafficking, especially of children? Yes, to a large extent, is the answer. One major prong of the solution would be to enact poverty reduction measures, in poor and developing world contexts in a manner that economic growth benefits all sections and segments of society. This, however, does not undercut other measures like vigilant about the scourge and employing coercive measures and strict measures against those who prey on the misery of the vulnerable.