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Mumbai, India 400 084

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Society Registration No. (under Societies Registration Act, 1860), GBBSD 1653 (Maharashtra), 

Trust Registration No. (Under Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950)F-60329 (Mumbai)


The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, as amended (TVPA), defines “severe forms of 
trafficking in persons” as:

· sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in 
which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or 

· the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery.


A victim need not be physically transported from one location to another for the crime to fall within this definition.


Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organs.


Simply put Human Trafficking includes three aspects: Movement (from one place to another – in Transit, though this need not always be the case for the crime to fall within this definition), use of Feception/Fraud (to coax the victim – at Source) and Exploitation (sexual, labour, etc – often at Destinations but also along Transit). This diagram is a simple representation of it.




In December 2000 the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children was signed by 88 countries in Palermo, Italy. This signalled the recognition by the international community of modern day slavery as a serious global issue. Additionally, over the past decade there has been an increasing global movement to combat trafficking spanning all strata of society involving the creation of anti-trafficking laws, the development of anti-human trafficking units in many states, task forces and the mobilization of resources and manpower from diverse sectors of society to address modern day slavery. Despite these efforts, however, there is still much work left to be done. 


  • Human Trafficking is an organized crime and one of the gravest violations of Human Rights transgressing boundaries of official jurisdictions and other man made restrictions of time and space. The list of traffickers and exploiters is too crowded. 


  • Indeed, it is a “high profit, low risk business”. More often, victims remain unnoticed, un-cared and not addressed. General masses are by and large unconcerned because they are unaware of the extent, dimensions and implications of human trafficking. 


  • The prevailing ‘culture of silence’, ‘culture of tolerance’ and the ‘culture of non-concern’ not only permits but, promotes and perpetuates human trafficking and gives a free hand to the traffickers to continue with impunity their merchandise of human suffering.


  • Human trafficking (HT) is a crime that often goes underreported due to its covert nature, various misconceptions about its definition, and a lack of awareness about its indicators on the local level. 


  • HT is a transnational criminal enterprise that recognises neither boundaries nor borders. Profits from trafficking feed the coffers of organised crime. Due to the complexity of this crime any approach to tackle it also will tend to be complex.


  • Trafficking in essence is a lucrative business but in reality, a business which has serious criminal ramifications among all who are involved directly and indirectly with particularly severe effects on the victims of trafficking. Any business is about demand and supply. Usually the destination is where the demand is. The source is where the supply is. Between the source and destination are the transit routes where also abuse happens.


  • India’s trafficking has a 90:10 % pattern – 90% domestic trafficking (intrastate and interstate) with 10% across international borders. So, in addition to being a source area for trafficking, India is a major transit and destination country.


  • Trafficking in Persons (TIP) is a 9 billion USD business in India and perhaps the fastest growing illegal trade in the world. Only one out of 100 victims of trafficking is ever rescued.


  • India’s sex Industry is about 2 million strong, more than 20% of whom are considered children under age 16. The nature of TIP differs across all 28 states of India.


  • Exploitation is seen in various ways – agricultural labour, bonded labour, domestic servitude, begging, organ trade, forced prostitution, entertainment, forced marriages, and child soldiers. Bonded labour and child marriages are a peculiarity of India.[1]


  • A CBI statement said that studies and surveys sponsored by the ministry of women and child development estimated that about 40% of all India's prostitutes are children.[2]


  • According to a study done by ECPAT the average age of the trafficked girl has steadily fallen from 14 to 16 years to 10 to 14 years. [3]


  • While HT is a heinous, detestable crime it is also a multi-billion dollar business, When you look at HT from the standpoint of a business, it’s all about demand and supply.


  • Of course, today there is a thin line between source and destination where even some commonly perceived destinations seem to be source areas.


  • Poverty due to prolonged drought, mounting farm debts, unemployment and lack of livelihood are the triggering factors, which are forcing parents to send their daughters out of town for employment. 


  • Poverty though often cited as the major factor responsible for trafficking is not the only one single factor.  Loss of traditional sources of livelihood, growing unemployment, forced migration, religious & superstitious beliefs, children being viewed as commodities and growing consumerism resulting from globalisation have all contributed to the increase of child trafficking.


  • When girls are trafficked the environment they exist in resembles prison both physically, and psychologically.  Some are left with no choice and find themselves in this situation out of sheer desperation for an income. Most are tricked, lied to, and exploited.  The traffickers know the profiles of the vulnerable population, and take full advantage of hopelessness in many people’s lives.  


  • They have no hope of escape, they have no one to advocate for them.  All the people that have access to them exploit them. The girls cannot save themselves.  Their situation is a vicious cycle that will not end unless outside intervention takes place.


  • Behind these numbers are faces and names. Every statistic represents a real person who longs to live with dignity and hope. 

  • Recruiter gains the victim’s trust and then sells them for labor or to a pimp.  This can be a boyfriend, a neighbor, or even a family member. Sometimes there is a handler in between too.

  • Handler is the one transports the victim from one place to another. Often there may be several handlers who manage different areas or distances.

  • Trafficker one who controls the survivors through abuse, threats, and lies. This is usually the madam or pimp.

  • Victim could be anyone.

  • Consumer funds the human trafficking industry by purchasing “goods/services".  Often s/he is unaware that someone is suffering.



Broken Relationships and Broken Systems

The basic rout cause of the issue of human trafficking and slavery can be traced back to brokenness – of relationships and of systems. Brokenness and abuse in homes, split families, sexual abuse by relatives, bad parenting, neglect and so on. And systems that are broken can be as large as a country torn apart by war, or chronic poverty – lack of food or water to whole populations, lack of jobs, brokenness in the education system, or the foster care system, the juvenile court system, etc.


Out of this brokenness, people are vulnerable to exploitation, and those who turn to exploiting others have reasons for doing so.  The family in one of the Indian villages is so poor their children are dying and the crops have nearly all been washed out by the rain, again. The farmers are in debt and tend to commit suicide. Someone comes into their village promising work in the big city for their daughters. What if it is a trap? But, they would die if they stayed. 

The young girl who has never been shown love and support is desperately hungry for attention, and gets seduced by a local pimp or recruiter.The boy growing up watching his mother get beat up by his father ends up getting initiated into a gang- feeling trapped and angry with no idea how to process these emotions. In that gang they need to make money for their “family” and he turns to pimping. 


Terms used in the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPRA) legislation – recognizing slavery often comes in other forms than physical bondage. Threats and lies and manipulation are just as strong, if not stronger bonds on a victim. 


For this system to be profitable, there must be demand. And, we must realize we are all a part of the demand. We demand low costs at the expense of quality and justice – And we would rather look the other way than demand change. 


Whether we like it or not we are all a part of the sexualization of our culture, and sadly a large percentage of sex tourists are men from western cultures. 


The vulnerable are caught, abused, sold – forced to work against their will- with no compensation, save for basic needs. 


The loop then continues to further brokenness of relationships and systems as a result of the exploitation – disease, children born into slavery, evil perpetuated.


Unless the victim is rescued or escapes through help from Law enforcement, NGO’s, health care staff, self-referral or even community watch. Once rescued, sustainable aftercare and support is needed for survivors.


It takes cooperation and networking between all the social services and service providers such as: shelters, legal, healthcare, counseling, therapy, job training, education, and community members for support and advocacy. Sadly there is often a re-trafficking that happens, either voluntarily or forcibly – back into the brokenness and exploitation


When the exploiter is arrested or prosecuted it takes investigation and cooperation with state and police,  lawyers, Judges, the Court system, prisons… all the government systems to ensure a proper conviction. Once arrested, there must be a conviction and prosecution of the crime, and justice to be served. 


For the conviction there must be victim cooperation for testimony. There must be laws on the books – and protocol for the Police to handle the case. Often other laws are used – such as kidnapping, harboring of illegal immigrants, rape, or business code fraud. 

If and when the sentence is over, sadly there is often a return into the brokenness of crimes and exploiting others.


Rather than returning to brokenness and exploitation we in Purnata want to see them move to restoration and new life!  Through support of positive community, spiritual breakthrough, accountability, empowerment and mentoring. 


Possible response : Throughout this causal loop there are passageways – exiting the loop towards restoration and healing, and then also entering back into the loop from various stages. These intersections must be addressed – who is there to stop the return to brokenness and abuse, and to help pull people out of the cycle – even before the abuse takes place.

Demand: cheap labor / goods/ sex / porn

For this system to be profitable, there must be demand. And, we must realize we are all a part of the demand. We demand low costs at the expense of quality and justice – And we would rather look the other way than demand change.

Whether we like it or not we are all a part of the sexualization of our culture, and sadly a large percentage of sex tourists are men from western cultures. 

Purnata strategy is primarily implemented with civil society support and partnerships. We believe in the power of ordinary people when they come together as a powerful vehicle for transformation and change.

Our response should be to understand that we are broken people and so we reach out to other broken people.

No matter who you are you can do something. I am not for sale, you are not for sale and no one can be on sale. Lot of people do not know much about trafficking and if they do not, then what can I do to bring awareness?

Rescue is not the only solution but full rehabilitation. Traffickers continuously reinvent their methods and reinforce them. We need to constantly think through and modify our responses.

Safe houses are important but not the solution as prevention is more critical and hits the roots of the trade. Rehabilitation is very intense and is about a cure rather than prevention. (An ounce of prevention is worth a ton of rehabilitation!!)

God’s heart is to end this oppression and see children safe from the bondage. God’s heart is for the victims He wants to call people both those trafficked and the traffickers to Himself and free them from this bondage.

Focusing first on God’s heart and realizing it is not our effort alone but that God is at work and He will provide wisdom, strength and direction. My mission/church is not big enough to tackle the whole problem.

God’s vehicle is the church. The church needs to focus on the demands of the trade and examine itself on whether they have addressed this addiction internally. Significance is that we follow Jesus not only as one organisation but as a whole church. We must mobilise the church not just staff and volunteers of. We are also responsible for the demand through getting underage children to work as domestics in our homes and overlooking this practice of child labour and modern human slavery in our society. Purnata


How can the church respond? Suggestions: tuitions after school, working on citizen’s rights, Communication is key to spread awareness. Churches have mission budgets but no responses to these issues. Ride the wave of what the Lord is doing. We can come together and pray before to defining response. Increase our effectiveness by networking across the chain of ministries. We can partner with other churches to run safe houses. Dream. What do I want to see? What does God want to see? What do the people involved tell us, children, women, traffickers, police, etc., Christians coming together can give power for us to act.

Christian organisations are not random people involved in revolution but God’s answer to the sea of needs in a complex world. Movements are not made of organisations but people. God has enough people to create a movement. 30% of the church can create huge momentum. The mandate of the church to respond to the issue as well as mobilise the Para churches or NGO’s. Church does advocacy against unrighteous practice. They can practice love, holiness- worldview shifting, faith. Never speak negatively but speak prophetically, you do not see it but is spoken in faith. Do not look from a past perspective.  

One thing the church can do is bring healing and contribute healthy families- strong health community, social support systems- this affects brokenness




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