March 01, 2018
The Union Cabinet yesterday has approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018. The Bill will be now introduced in the Parliament.
The Bill inter alia has the following features:-
- Addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
- Punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person including facilitating the acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
- Maintaining the confidentiality of victims/ witnesses and complainants by not disclosing their identity. Confidentiality of the victims helps in mitigating trans-border and inter-State crimes.
- Time bound trial and repatriation of the victims – within a period of one year from taking into cognizance.
- Immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation.
- Rehabilitation of the victim which is not contingent upon criminal proceedings being initiated against the accused or the outcome thereof.
- Rehabilitation Fund created 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.
- Designated courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
- The Bill creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central Level.
- Punishment ranges from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh.
- The Bill at both national and international level, the Bill provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property.
- The Bill also 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.
Human Trafficking particularly women and child trafficking in India is a growing concern. Bonded labour and child marriage in India are two major causes which lead to trafficking of persons.