What is exploitation?
The term "exploitation" is derived from the French word "exploitation." Exploitation is defined as depriving a person of his or her rights via deception, misrepresentation, or coercion. It also includes denial of a person's share, pay, remuneration, or other benefits for the work.
Generally, exploitation is the practice of obtaining unjust advantage of a person because of his or her weaker status. As a result of exploitation, some individuals are treated wrongly for the advantage of others. The inferiors are regarded as objects rather than human beings.
Forced labour, as defined by the Forced Labour Convention of 1930, is any involuntary act or job done under threat of punishment. The weaker labourers are exposed to merciless and continuous exploitation by the superiors, in this situation.
Forced labour is defined as accomplishing physical hard work under stress or pressure. Bonded labour or forced labour can be considered a civilised form of slavery.
Human trafficking involves transportation, recruiting, forced accommodation, fraud, and deceit, all with the primary goal of exploitation. Human trafficking may affect anybody, but the majority of victims are women and children.
Human trafficking is the act of moving and transporting individuals for the purpose of profiting from their labor or bodies, usually through sexual exploitation. Human exploitation is among the most serious issues facing the world today.
Prostitution, sexual exploitation of women and children, Devadasis, slavery, buying and selling living/conscious human beings are all examples of human trafficking.
Another type of human exploitation is begar. Essentially, it is forcing someone to labour for no pay or reward. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines begar as "forced labor." Essentials of begar: Forced Labor-
• in which no compensation or pay is provided, or
• in which compensation is provided but is inadequate.
Constitutional Provisions against exploitation
Article 23 of the Constitution of India prohibits the practice of human trafficking and forced labor and makes it illegal to:
• Trafficking in Human Beings
• Forced Labor/ Begar
• Other crimes of a similar kind
The right to be free from exploitation is available to both the citizens and non-citizens of the country. Article 23 guarantees protection to an individual from state as well as private organizations.
In order to provide legal protections against human trafficking in India, the government enacted the Suppression of Immoral Traffic in Women and Girl Act, 1956.
• Case- Chandra v. State of Rajasthan (1959)
In this case, the village sarpanch requested that each household sends a member from each household to assist in the construction of the communal tank. The case was taken to the Rajasthan High Court, which ruled that the sarpanch's decision was in violation of Article 23 of the Indian Constitution.
• Case- State of UP v. Madhav Prasad Sharma (2011)
The court in this case decided that refusing to pay a wage due to a no labor did not qualify as begar under Article 23 of the Constitution of India.
Article 24 of the Constitution of India expressly prohibits minors under the age of 14 from working in factories, mines, or any other dangerous activity. The provision is provided in the welfare of children's health.
The Child Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, which has been renamed as the Child Labour and Adolescent Labour (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986, is a significant law prohibiting the employment of children in industries.
The National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), the State Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (SCPCR), and the Children's Court were suggested by the Commission for the Protection of Child Rights Act of 2005 for quick resolution of cases.
• Case- M.C Mehta v. The State of Tamil Nadu (1996)
The Supreme Court in response to the prevalent threat of child labour, ruled that no child under the age of 14 shall be employed. The court also emphasised the need of children's education and the creation of a child labour rehabilitation welfare fund.
In 2006, the Government of India prohibited the employment of children under the age of 14 as domestic staff and in businesses (such as restaurants, shops, factories, etc.). The Child Labor and Adolescent Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act of 1986 punishes anybody who breaches these rules.
Government steps to prohibit exploitation
In order to restrict the practise of exploitation, the Indian legislature has created plenty of laws, including:
• The Minimum Wages Act, 1948
• The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956
• The Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
• The Bonded Labor (Abolition) Act, 1976
• The Indian Penal Code, 1980
• The Child Labor (Prohibition and Regulation) Act, 1986
• The Protection of Children from Sexual Offence Act, 2012
• The Juvenile Justice Act, 2015
The safety of victims against exploitation is especially addressed in the above-mentioned statutes. Despite the fact that there are several laws protecting persons from exploitation, there are numerous incidents of exploitation in our society. As a result, it is the judicial body that has taken remedial action and measures in India to combat the threat of exploitation.
This article is written by Devika Mani of Amity University Noida Campus.