Fast-track the passage of the new anti-human trafficking bill into an Act
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We want the draft trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill to be turned into an Act this monsoon session
“It’s her fault she was trafficked…”
“Don’t talk to her. Or else you will also become like her…”
“Why did you come back from the brothel? Why didn’t you just die before bringing shame to the family?”
Dear Hon’ble Prime Minister,
These are some of the statements that us victims of human trafficking are no strangers to. Our family often shuns us, the community stigmatises us and the society denies us our rights and entitlements and yet we never tire of fighting for justice and what is rightfully ours.
We are members of Utthan, a collective of trafficking survivors from West Bengal. We were all trafficked in our adolescence and gone through unspeakable torture and violence before being rescued and returned back to our homes. Today, we stand together to fight not just against the issue of human trafficking but for our rights and entitlements as well. We are now helping other survivors in their quest for justice, and spread awareness about the menace of trafficking among the young children and parents in our communities. We have also provided feedback and inputs on the first draft of the anti-human trafficking bill in June 2016.
Today, we join forces to ask the Government to fast track the passage of the proposed anti-human trafficking Bill and set up effective enforcement machineries to deal with this organised crime. We support the draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill that aims to create a strong legal, economic and social environment against the phenomena of human trafficking and that has been tabled at the Lok Sabha on 18th July 2018 by the Minister for Women and Child Development, Government of India. Though we have several provisions in our legal system to check child labour and commercial sexual exploitation of children, there is, however, no comprehensive law to intercept human trafficking as a whole. This Bill is thus the first step towards confronting all these crimes, and we need to have a comprehensive law to tackle this.
Some of the salient features of the new bill include stringent punishment of the perpetrators; it also addresses the crucial issue of rehabilitation of victims, many of whom are lured by traffickers on the promise of a better life and jobs. Additionally, rehabilitation is not contingent on criminal proceedings. A special rehabilitation fund has been proposed for immediate protection of rescued persons. The punishment for traffickers varies from 10 years rigorous imprisonment to life sentence and Rs 1 lakh fine in cases of aggravated crimes.
We want the Government of India to expedite the passage of the new Trafficking of Persons Bill, which is a positive step towards addressing the issue of human trafficking as a whole unlike the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act.
You can help by signing our petition to the Prime Minister of India, Sri Narendra Modi and the Minister for Women and Child Development, Smt. Maneka Gandhi.
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