The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on February 28, 2018 approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 for introduction in the Parliament.
Provisions of the Bill
• It addresses the issue of trafficking from the point of view of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation.
• It defines aggravated forms of trafficking such as 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 etc.
• It ensures confidentiality of victims and witnesses and complainants by not disclosing their identity.
• It also ensures time bound trial and repatriation of the victims within a period of one year from taking into cognizance.
• It enables 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 and further appropriate relief within 60 days from the date of filing of charge sheet.
• It calls for creating a Rehabilitation Fund for the first time which will be used for the physical, psychological and social well-being of the victim including education, skill development, health care, legal aid, safe accommodation, etc.
• It designates courts in each district for the speedy trial of the cases.
• It also creates dedicated institutional mechanisms at District, State and Central Level that will be responsible for prevention, protection, investigation and rehabilitation work related to trafficking. National Investigation Agency will act as Anti-Trafficking Bureau at the national level.
• It provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property and also the proceeds for crime.
• It 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; facilitate inter-State and trans-border transfer of evidence and witnesses and facilitate inter-state and international video conferencing in judicial proceedings.
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Punishment under Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
The Bill calls for punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person which includes producing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued or fake certificates, registration as proof of compliance with Government requirements; fraud for procuring the acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies.
Punishment ranges from rigorous life imprisonment for minimum 10 years and fine not less than Rs 1 lakh.
Purpose behind drafting of this Bill
Human Trafficking is the third largest organized crime that violates basic human rights. There is no specific law so far to deal with this crime in India. Considering this, Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 has been prepared.
The Bill seeks to make India a leader among South Asian countries to combat trafficking. The Bill was prepared in consultation with concerned Ministries, Departments, State Governments, NGOs and domain experts.
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