The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has recommended that all states in India appoint an “anti-human trafficking nodal officer.”

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  • This nodal officer should not be below the rank of a secretary to a state government or an inspector general of police.
  • This recommendation comes in response to continued prevalence of human trafficking, particularly for sexual exploitation.
  • To stop this menace, the Commission has recommended that all states have an anti-human trafficking nodal officer, who shall coordinate with the government by taking effective steps and measures through the District Anti-Human Trafficking Units (DAHTU).
  • The Commission has also recommended that the DAHTUs should be headed by a gazetted officer, not below the rank of a deputy SP.

Significance of Nodal Officers:

  • Improved Coordination: Dedicated nodal officers will facilitate better coordination between various government departments involved in combating human trafficking.
  • Centralized Efforts: Nodal officers will create a centralized point of contact for tackling trafficking at the state level.

Expected Benefits:

  • Enhanced Prevention: More effective implementation of anti-trafficking laws and policies.
  • Improved Victim Rescue: Swifter response to trafficking incidents and better victim identification.
  • Increased Rehabilitation: Streamlined support for rescued victims, including medical care, legal assistance, and rehabilitation programs.

National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) of India. 

It’s a statutory body established in 1993 under the Protection of Human Rights Act, 1993. 

  • Function: The NHRC acts as a watchdog for human rights in India. It investigates complaints of human rights violations by both state and non-state actors.

District Anti-Human Trafficking Units (DAHTUs) 

  • DAHTUs are specialized police units established at the district level in India to combat human trafficking.
  • They were set up under a comprehensive scheme, as notified by the Union Home Ministry.


  • The Government of India provides financial assistance to states for setting up and strengthening DAHTUs under the “Nirbhaya Fund,” named after the Delhi gangrape victim.

Challenges to Consider:

  • Implementation: Ensuring all states effectively appoint and empower nodal officers.
  • Resource Constraints: Providing adequate resources (training, staff, budget) for nodal officers to function efficiently.

Anti-Human Trafficking Initiatives in India

  • National Action Plan for Combating Trafficking in Persons (2016): This government plan outlines strategies for prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation. It focuses on  law enforcement, victim support, awareness campaigns, and inter-governmental collaboration.
  • ITPA 1956: India’s primary legislation against sex trafficking is the 1956 Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, which criminalises acts like brothel keeping and profiting from prostitution.
  • Conventions: India tackles human trafficking through both regional and international agreements. It has ratified the SAARC convention focusing on women and children for prostitution and the UN’s anti-trafficking protocol within a broader organised crime convention.
  • Anti-Trafficking Cells: Established by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Ministry of Women and Child Development to coordinate anti-trafficking efforts at national and state levels.
  • Ujjawala Scheme: A central government scheme for victim assistance, providing financial and legal aid and shelter for rescued victims.
  • Central Advisory Committee: Advises the government on formulating and implementing anti-trafficking policies.

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