Good session at the Kerala Judicial Academy (Kochi, Kerala). During an overview on Human Rights Law and a focus on human trafficking, Professor Pati reminded attendees that when researching and looking at human trafficking, we have to “look beneath the surface”. Especially when culture can be a tool to hide the crime that is happening right under our noses. It is crucial to be knowledgeable and inquisitive as to what elements in culture are enabling human rights violations, such as human trafficking, and look for ways to change it. Human trafficking is thus deeply rooted in culture. Many of us postulate that human trafficking is not existent in our community, in our city, in our state, in our country – but that would be a quick unfounded assumption. It is important to “identify and prove it”, as it is present in some capacity everywhere, worldwide. Human trafficking occurs in many forms, not just sex trafficking but also forced labor, children labor including begging, domestic servitude, among others.
As part of the judicial community it is also important to increase our knowledge and training on what current legislation and tools exist, both at an international and domestic level. Then make sure proper legislation is in place and more importantly work to put it into effect. Just “because the law is on paper, it is not enough” - training and implementation is crucial.
In the end, holistically speaking, the connection of culture and attitude towards the law in society is key.