Draft Anti-Trafficking Bill

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Draft Anti-Trafficking Bill

Draft Anti-Trafficking Bill

Recently, the Ministry of Women and Child Welfare has invited suggestions from all stakeholders on the document The Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021.

Key points of the bill:

  • The proposed bill also includes heavy fines and confiscation of their properties, along with provisions for stringent punishment for offenders.
  • In this bill, along with providing protection to women and children, transgender or any other person who has been trafficked as victims has also been included.
  • Under this new draft, it is also proposed to do away with the provision, under which in order to define a person as a ‘victim’, it is necessary to move from one place to another.
  • The definition of ‘exploitation’ includes exploitation in the form of prostitution, or other forms of sexual exploitation such as pornography, any act of physical abuse, forced labour, slavery or servitude-like practices, slavery or the forcible removal of organs, etc. .

This law shall apply to all persons who –

  • To all citizens residing within and outside the borders of India.
  • On a person traveling on a ship or aircraft registered in India, wherever he is en route, or carrying Indian nationals.
  • Any foreign national or stateless person residing in India at the time of committing an offense under this Act.
  • Security personnel and Government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or any person holding a position of authority.

Constitutional and legislative provisions relating to trafficking in India:

  • Trafficking in human or persons is prohibited under Article 23(1) of the Constitution of India.
  • The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 (Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act – ITPA) is the principal law for the prevention of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.
  • Section 370 of the Indian Penal Code has been replaced by Article 370 and 370A IPC under the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act 2013, making comprehensive provisions to combat the menace of human trafficking.

Trafficking in Persons report 2021

  • According to the ‘Trafficking of Persons Report’ 2021 released by the US State Department, vulnerability to human trafficking has increased as a result of the COVID pandemic and has hindered current anti-trafficking efforts.
  • Although India has not met the minimum standards to eliminate smuggling, the government is making significant efforts in this regard. But the efforts made by the government, especially in the context of bonded labour, are inadequate.

Source – The Hindu

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