Section 370

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Criminal liability Human trafficking

Section 370 provides the definition of human trafficking under Indian legislation. The definition largely replicates the UN Protocol’s definition of trafficking, but omits any reference to forced labour.

Notes

Sections 370 and 370A were introduced by the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013. The key changes introduced by these provisions are the specific criminalisation of recruitment, transfer, transport, harbouring a person for the purpose of prostitution, forced labour, organ removal by use of threats or inducement; conduct which had previously been covered by general provisions dealing with slavery and abduction. It also provides for enhanced punishment of 7 to 10 years imprisonment.

According to a report published by the Freedom Fund and the Thomson Reuters Foundation, while section 370 is being successfully used to prosecute sex and child trafficking offences, NGOs working in India are finding that it is more difficult to get police to register bonded labour cases under this section.

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Text

Section 370 – Trafficking of Person.

Whoever, for the purpose of exploitation, (a) recruits, (b) transports, (c) harbours, (d) transfers, or (e) receives, a person or persons, by—

First-— using threats, or

Secondly— using force, or any other form of coercion, or

Thirdly— by abduction, or Fourthly— by practising fraud, or deception, or

Fifthly— by abuse of power, or

Sixthly— by inducement, including the giving or receiving of payments or benefits, in order to achieve the consent of any person having control over the person recruited, transported, harboured, transferred or received, commits the offence of trafficking.

Explanation I—The expression “exploitation” shall include any act of physical exploitation or any form of sexual exploitation, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, or the forced removal of organs.

Explanation 2.—The consent of the victim is immaterial in determination of the offence of trafficking.

(2) Whoever commits the offence of trafficking shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than seven years, but which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.

(3) Where the offence involves the trafficking of more than one person, it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

(4) Where the offence involves the trafficking of a minor, it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than ten years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

(5) Where the offence involves the trafficking of more than one minor, it shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than fourteen years, but which may extend to imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

(6) If a person is convicted of the offence of trafficking of minor on more than one occasion, then such person shall be punished with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.

(7) When a public servant or a police officer is involved in the trafficking of any person then, such public servant or police officer shall be punished with imprisonment for life, which shall mean imprisonment for the remainder of that person’s natural life, and shall also be liable to fine.

Section 370 A — Exploitation of a trafficked person.

(1) Whoever, knowingly or having reason to believe that a minor has been trafficked, engages such minor for sexual exploitation in any manner, shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than five years, but which may extend to seven years, and shall also be liable to fine.

(2) Whoever, knowingly by or having reason to believe that a person has been trafficked, engages such person for sexual exploitation in any manner, shall be punished With rigorous imprisonment for a term which shall not be less than three years, but which may extend to five years, and shall also be liable to fine.

Law / India / Penal Code, 1860

The Indian Penal Code, 1860 is the main criminal code in India. The Penal Code, under Chapter XVI, deals with offences against the human body. The Code was recently amended in 2013 to include provisions dealing with slavery, compulsory labour and sexual exploitation.