10 June 2024

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Union Cabinet approves the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018


The Union Cabinet chaired by Prime Minister has approved the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 for introduction in the Parliament. The Bill would emphasise on prevention, rescue and rehabilitation. It aims for a Time bound trial and repatriation of the victims - within a period of one year from taking into cognizance. The Bill provides punishment for promoting or facilitating trafficking of person which includes producing, printing, issuing or distributing unissued, tampered or fake certificates, registration or stickers as proof of compliance with Government requirements; or commits fraud for procuring or facilitating the acquisition of clearances and necessary documents from Government agencies. Punishment would range from rigorous minimum 10 years to life and fine not less than Rs. 1 lakh.

The Bill aims to create dedicated institutional mechanisms at all levels including District, State and Central Level. These mechanisms 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 the Ministry of Home Affairs. The Bill further provides for the attachment & forfeiture of property and also the proceeds for crime in order to break the organized nexus, both at the national as well as international level. The Bill provides immediate protection of rescued victims and their rehabilitation and 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. Infact, Rehabilitation of the victim which is not contingent upon criminal proceedings being initiated against the accused or the outcome thereof.

It is an alarming fact that, 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 which is also affecting a number of South Asian nations. Amongst them, India is now a pioneer in formulating a comprehensive legislation.

Tags : Trafficking Bill Approval

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