The primary question in the Compensate Victims, 2022 study is – has there been a qualitative shift in trafficking survivors’ access to justice between 2019 – 2022? The Compensate Victims 2019 study had shown less than 1% of the survivors rescued from trafficking over 10 years (2009 to 2019) were compensated. This study expands that exploration to understand the status of access to the State Victim Compensation Schemes in India by victims of human trafficking and identify the systemic barriers to access to compensation.
The findings of the study will inform stakeholders in the Anti–Human Trafficking ecosystem in designing programs to strengthen systems of justice and aid collaborative solution-building in order to develop an accessible, intersectional, and survivor-centric system of justice in India.
The findings suggest an urgent need for strengthening the systems of victim compensation for increasing access to survivors of all forms of trafficking. An essential factor that enables survivors to work in congruence with the justice system involves harm reparation and compensation that is provided to the survivors in question. Currently, via the state victim compensation schemes established under CrPC Section 357A, survivors of human trafficking can apply for compensation to the DLSA or trial court, or the trial court can recommend DLSA to disburse compensation to the survivor. According to CrPC 357A, the appropriate authorities are supposed to complete the entire proceedings of inquiry and decision to award compensation within 2 months of such an application. In certain cases, the compensation amount provides adequate impetus to a survivor to kick–start their own micro–entrepreneurial initiatives, allowing them to instill and reclaim a sense of financial independence and thereby exercise their agency.Download Compensate Victims 2022 Report Download Executive Summary
This study on AHTUs attempts to discern the ‘coverage’ or ‘reach’ of AHTUs across India, by enquiring as to whether AHTUs have or have not been notified across India, whether they are functional or not and to engage with an inquiry to explain gaps in the system that have been elucidated by the stakeholders. All of this information can help provide a snapshot of the prevalence, expertise and impact of AHTUs on the anti-trafficking system at large. The primary purpose that this report may serve is to assist the Government of India and governments of various states in deciding the most effective course of action in addressing human trafficking. It may also help anti trafficking activists and organisations decide on strategies to strengthen policy and its enforcement, and the performance of AHTUs in the country. Sanjog wishes to make every effort to make the research available to survivors of trafficking across India, for they are the primary owners and beneficiaries of this research.
We hope this research will also help those academics, researchers and activists who are often bewildered and cynical about entrustingthe addressal of human trafficking solely to law enforcement and the judiciary. This research affirms once again that progress is often incremental and also determined by the quality of engagement by civil society, non-profits and affected communities. Ultimately, Sanjog hopes that it will help strengthen the maturity of activism in this space as well.Download the report