Author of “Veiled Legalization Of Human Trafficking In India In The 21st Century”

Tell us about yourself ?

Hello! First of all, I’d love to thank your team for this amazing initiative and opportunity. I’m Nilanjana Sarkar, you could say I’m that student who is always looking for ways to explore her potential and improve herself. Being a law student from a traditional university, I try to leave no stones unturned in learning with all my might and leaving a mark. Not exactly a vegan, but I do want to make this world a better place for everyone to live!

What could be the reason for such a huge rate of human trade even in this 21st century, where we consider ourselves as civilized subjects?

Every “civilized subject” has got an unforeseen side to it. We keep forgetting that a person isn’t born a criminal; their circumstances make them into one. These circumstances include poverty, lack of education, disfunctional families, a life without dignity, violation of human rights and of course, corruption. These circumstances make a person vulnerable, angry and disrespectful of the rights of other people. And to top it all, our technology makes it quite easy for trafficking to be controlled and concealed. In this “civilized” society, it’s no secret how trafficking rackets are operated by “civilized” influential people as well.

Why do you think our legislation is veiled with respect to Human Trafficking Laws?

It isn’t intentionally veiled. It’s important to remember that the Legislature is presumed to make law in good faith. However, our laws are mostly directed towards keeping the victim out of trouble and not towards questioning the offender’s intent. This leads to a lot of loopholes. For instance, it makes no sense why child marriage has been conveniently overlooked under sections 372 and 373 of the IPC. Our legislation is veiled because we don’t focus much on trying to get inside the mind of the offender. We need to focus more on the offender than on the offence.

On what basis do you criticize the explanation given to the term ‘Human Trafficking’?


I think when you deal with an offence, you should do it with an aim to unfurl the mind of the offender, but when you describe an offence, you need to describe it from the perspective of the sufferer. Human trafficking is a grave offence. No matter how well you try to explain it, you will always miss out something or the other. However, I do feel the definition could be widened enough to acknowledge the gravity of psychological abuse. Also, the penalties could have been more severe, owing to the emotional harassment and trauma meted out to the victims.

What made you conclude that proper legislation would require a complete analysis of the psychology of the criminals?


You see, the entire reformative theory of punishment dwells on understanding the mind of the criminal. How else are we going to reform them? An eye for an eye (no matter how attractive it may sound) is not the solution. In order to be better, we need to understand what stops us from being better. Therefore, it’s imperative to analyze the psychology of the criminal and understand why they did what they did. And what exactly would it take for them to stop. Perhaps that way we can identify the loopholes and fix them before another criminal is made?


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