Human trafficking report 2017: US continues to label India as Tier-II

According to the June 2017 edition of “Trafficking in persons” report released by the United States State Department, India continues to be placed in tier-2 of human trafficking, the department arguing that the country does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking.
The State Department in its annual Congressional-mandated report on human trafficking claimed that though India does not fully meet the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking but it has been making significant efforts to do so. The government demonstrated increasing efforts compared to the previous reporting period; therefore, India remained on tier-2.
India 's efforts were reflected in increasing the number of victims identified, investigations completed, and traffickers convicted, as well as its budget for shelter programmes for female and child trafficking victims. It also adopted an action plan for children, which included plans to prevent child trafficking and protect child victims. However, the government did not meet the minimum standards in several key areas.
The report ruled that overall victim identification and protection remained inadequate and inconsistent and the government sometimes penalised victims through arrests for crimes committed as a result of being subjected to human trafficking.
According to the report, demonetisation had an impact on sex trafficking last year. Some NGOs commented sex trafficking was temporarily reduced until other forms of payment were established. Some NGOs reported a resultant increase in other methods of payment including online payments.
Other NGOs stated workers in the informal economy, including brick kiln workers, were at times paid in void currency notes or were not paid at all due to cash shortages. Both the situations subsequently increased the workers' vulnerability to debt bondage and forced labour.
As per the report, India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children subjected to forced labour and sex trafficking. Forced labour constitutes India 's largest trafficking problem. Men, women, and children in debt bondage, sometimes inherited from previous generations are forced to work in brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroidery factories.
Most of India 's trafficking problem is internal, and those from the most disadvantaged social strata- lowest caste Dalits, members of tribal communities, religious minorities, and women and girls from excluded groups are most vulnerable.
Within India , some are subjected to forced labour in sectors such as construction, steel, and textile industries, wire manufacturing for underground cables, biscuit factories, pickling, floriculture, fish farms, and ship breaking, among others. Thousands of unregulated work placement agencies reportedly lure adults and children under false promises of employment into sex trafficking or forced labour, including domestic servitude, the report added.

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