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1. The trafficking of women, drugs and diamonds involve huge numbers of individuals and groups, there is a higher degree of transnationalism and trade patterns are very complex. There are thousands of human traffickers operating independently within relatively hierarchical groups and exploit tens of thousands of women and girls often in cross border operations that violate countries sovereignty. Under international law governments are obligated to protect their citizens from being trafficked through policies and programmes that aim at prevention and protection of victims.

2. A review of the laws and provisions of various countries provides an impression of the growing awareness and recognition of the issues relating to trafficking across the world. Most of these countries have made efforts to amend their existing laws or to introduce new legislation in consonance with international instruments.

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3. Most European countries and US have adopted legislation against human trafficking. The same holds good for South and South East Asian countries including India and her neighbours. Infact in March 1998 in recognition of International Women’s Day President Clinton issued an Executive Memorandum on Steps to Combat Trafficking that pledges to combat “trafficking in women and girls with a focus on areas of prostitution, victim assistance and protection, and enforcement.� The role that various government agencies will play is also outlined.

International Framework of Laws

An overview of select protocols and conventions that regulate trafficking at the international level is listed at Appendix E- International Framework of Laws Related to Trafficking.

Regional Legal Instruments

The framework of law in countries of South Asia is listed at Appendix F- Legal Framework in South Asian Countries.

India – Initiatives to combat trafficking

4. Prevention and com bating Trafficking of Human Beings has received the highest priority in India and as the problem is multi dimensional, we have adopted a multi-pronged strategy to address the issue. India’s approach to combating trafficking is holistic, participative and inclusive and is not just restricted to primary or direct intervention against trafficking but seeks to eradicate the menace through empowering the potential victims.

4.1 Constitutional and Legal Framework to address Trafficking

4.1.1 India has a fairly wide framework of laws enacted by the Parliament as well as some of the State legislatures in addition to the various constitutional provisions. These are listed in Appendix G –Legal Framework to Address Trafficking in India.

4.1.2 The premier legislation to tackle trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation is the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956. The Act is being amended in order to further strengthen the various provisions.

Salient features of the amendments to ITPA

Re-defi ne the age of the child from 16 to 18 years.

Deletion of sections,

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