Principles of international human rights were established after World War II, and these have guaranteed civil liberties and fundamental freedom for women – e.g. by the adoption of ‘The Universal Declaration of Human Rights’ as well as by ‘The convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women’. However, women in South Asia have remained an exception. South Asia is a vulnerable region for trafficking because of its huge population growth, urbanization, and abject poverty. Among the South Asian countries, India has been ranked as one of the highest as an exploiter of trafficking.
Trafficking in persons (TIP), also more commonly known as human trafficking is a serious crime and a grave violation of human rights. It involves an act of recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring or receiving a person through a use of force, coercion or other means, for the purpose of exploiting them. According the UN and its protocol thereto, trafficking in persons is defined as:
‘the recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of persons, by means of the threat or use of force or other forms of coercion, of abduction, of fraud, of deception, of the abuse of power or of a position of vulnerability or of the giving or receiving of payments or benefits to achieve the consent of a person having control over another person, for the purpose of exploitation. Exploitation shall include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or the removal of organ’.
According to United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) trafficking in persons is a global phenomenon. Almost every country in the world is affected, whether as a country of origin, transit or destination for victims. Many countries have only recently passed, and some have yet to pass, legislation making human trafficking a distinct crime. Definitions of the offence vary, as does the capacity to detect victims, and hence support thereof. In some countries where human trafficking is known to be a problem do not report detecting victims, and some penalize victims as prostitutes. According to one estimate 20.9 million people are victims of trafficking globally. This estimate includes victims of human trafficking for labour and sexual exploitation. According to data collected by UNODC trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation accounts for 58 per cent of all trafficking cases detected globally. 
.The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organised Crime (adopted by the General Assembly 15 November 2000, entered into force 25 December) A/RES/55/25.
. UNODC (2012). Global report on trafficking in persons. New York: United Nations.