Discuss the salient features of Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 and its flaws. Why it has not been brought onto action yet?

India officially ratified the United Nations Convention against Transnational Organized Crime in 2011.There was a need for alignment of all the trafficking rules with the UN Trafficking Protocol and other international treaties. It was necessary to address the loopholes in the current anti-trafficking laws.
Features of the bill:

  • It takes into consideration�all forms of trafficking such as begging, bonded labour etc.
  • It prescribes punishment for promoting and facilitating trafficking of person
  • It deals with�confidentiality of victims and witnesses
  • It has provision for�time bound trial and repatriation of the victims
  • It creates Rehabilitation Fund for the first time
  • It creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central level
  • The punishment prescribed under it ranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh
  • The Bill mandates state government to appoint State Anti-Trafficking Officers
  • The Bill provides setting up of Anti-Trafficking Units at district level

Issues with the Bill:
The bill does not recognize the consenting adult sex workers as different form trafficked persons. So it violates the rights of the sex workers to take decision of their own life. There are concerns that the Bill will raise a conflict with an existing set of legislation and it will further confuse and complicate the delivery of justice.

Published: June 3, 2019 | Modified:October 15, 2020

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