Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021: The Ministry of Women and Child Welfare invited suggestions and comments for its draft Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021.
- The recommendations for the Bill are to be submitted to the Ministry by July 14.
- The Bill, once finalized, will be sent to the Cabinet for approval and then for the assent of both the houses of Parliament to become an Act.
- This Act shall apply to every offence of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications.
- The objective of the bill is to prevent and counter-trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
- It will provide for the care, protection, and rehabilitation of the victims, while respecting their rights, and creating a supportive legal, economic and social environment for them and also ensure prosecution of offenders, and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
According to the draft bill-
- The law, once enacted, will extend to all citizens inside as well as outside India and a foreign national or a stateless person who has his or her residence in India at the time of the commission of an offence under this Act.
- The scope of the Bill vis a vis offender will also include defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority.
- Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography, any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs, illegal clinical drug trials or illegal bio-medical research.
- The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgender as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking.
- It also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim.
- If a person is found guilty of trafficking then the person can be imprisoned for a term not less than seven years that may extend to 10 years.
- The convict shall also be liable to a fine not less than Rs 1 lakh that may extend up to Rs 5 lakh.
- Severe punishment has been proposed for offences classified as aggravated forms of trafficking especially in the case of the trafficking of one or more than one child, the penalty is now life imprisonment.
- In certain cases, even the death penalty can be sought.
- Property bought via such income as well as used for trafficking can now be forfeited with provisions set in place, similar to that of the money laundering Act.
- In 2018, a previous draft had been introduced and had been passed by Lok Sabha despite stiff opposition from both parliamentarians as well as experts.
- However, it was later never introduced in Rajya Sabha.
- But now, experts say that nearly all the concerns raised in 2018 have been addressed in this new draft Bill.
About Ministry of Women and Child Development:
- The Ministry of Women and Child Development is a branch of the Government of India (GoI).
- It is an apex body for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to women and child development in India, a branch of the Government of India, is an apex body for formulation and administration of the rules and regulations and laws relating to women and child development in India.
- It was founded on 30 January 2006.
- The current minister for the Ministry of Women and Child Development is Smriti Irani and the Minister of State is Sushri Debasree Chaudhuri.