Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018

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Context:

  • The Union Cabinet has approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.

Background:

  • Trafficking in human beings is the third largest organized crime violating basic human rights.
  • There is.no specific law so far to deal with this crime.
  • Accordingly, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 has been prepared. The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children.
  • The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. Trafficking is a global concern also affecting a number of South Asian nations.
  • Amongst them, India is now a pioneer in formulating a comprehensive legislation. UNODC and SAARC nations are looking forward to India to take lead by enacting this law.

Need of the Bill:

  • Despite “trafficking in human beings” being the third largest organized crime violating basic human rights, there is no specific law so far to deal with this crime.
  • Trafficking is not only a global concern, but is also affecting a number of South Asian nations.
  • Amongst them, India is now a pioneer in formulating a comprehensive legislation.
  • UNODC and SAARC nations are looking forward to India to take lead by enacting this law.
  • The Bill addresses one of the most pervasive yet invisible crimes affecting the most vulnerable persons especially women and children.
  • The new law will make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking.

Features of the Bill:

  • It aims at prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of the vulnerable target group which includes women and children.
  • It addresses aggravated forms of trafficking, which includes trafficking for the purpose of forced labour, begging, trafficking by administering chemical substance or hormones on a person for the purpose of early sexual maturity, trafficking of a woman or child for the purpose of marriage or under the pretext of marriage or after marriage etc.
  • It provides for punishmentfor promoting or facilitating trafficking of person. Punishment ranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh.
  • The confidentialityof victims/ witnesses and complainants shall be maintained by not disclosing their identity. Further the confidentiality of the victims is maintained by recording their statement through video conferencing. This also helps in trans-border and inter-State crimes.
  • Time bound trialand repatriation of the victims.
  • The Bill provides for immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation. The Victims are entitled to interim relief immediately within 30 days to address their physical, mental trauma etc. and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
  • Rehabilitation Fundcreated for the first time: To be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care/psychological support, legal aid, safe accommodation etc.
  • Speedy trials throughdesignated courts.
  • Dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central levels will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking.
  • National Investigation Agency (NIA)will perform the tasks of Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level present under theMHA.
  • The Bill provides for the attachment & forfeiture of propertyand also the proceeds for crime in order to hit the organized nexus at national and international levels.
  • The Bill comprehensively addresses the transnational nature of the crime.
  • The National Anti-Trafficking Bureau will perform the functions of international coordination with authorities in foreign countries and international organizations; international assistance in investigation; facilitate inter-State and trans-border transfer of evidence and materials, witnesses and others for expediting prosecution; facilitate inter-state and international video conferencing in judicial proceedings etc.

Source:PIB