Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill

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Picture Credit: fbi.gov

Trafficking of Persons Bill is a milestone in terms of country’s first ever anti-human trafficking law. Though the bill tries to unify all the existing provisions, it has some clauses which may be further added and detailed to make it more effective, judicious and beneficial.

The merits and demerits are discussed below:

  1. The proposed bill treats Survivors as victims and makes rehabilitation mandatory for those in need including repatriation if required. The bill also has a merit of setting up of short and long shelter homes, but lacks mention of specific time period. Neither does it specify about how the rehabilitation process would follow and which authorities will be held responsible for the same.
  2. The bill has clear provisions on diagnosis and identification of the victim, including for the first time setting up of special courts to expedite the judicial process which is another welcome step. But it again lacks provisions of dealing with the psychological aspects.
  3. Also, on the aftercare- the bill talks about reintegrating them with the society, but it is limited to only those who have lived in the shelter homes ignoring around half of the survivors who escape themselves taking a client’s help.
  4. Also the bill lacks provision to handle the stigma of the society against the survivors, including their own family members.
  5. The bill has a detailed coverage and focus on the trafficking related to Sexual offences, but to be called holistic it is yet to cover trafficking in other trades such as labour, forced marriage and enslavement.

Having already existent laws like –Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act and protection of Children from sexual offences act, this bill for the first time realises the enormity and gravity of this organised crime and a serious human rights violation issue. However to make it a more holistic and comprehensive legislation, multiple aspects including societal, economic, psychological etc. need to be carefully addressed.

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