Human Trafficking (Article 23)
- 8200 cases in 2016 (NCRB Data) | 44% from WB only
- 33% chargesheeted — pathetic!
- In last 3 years — number of human trafficking cases have doubled — bulk from Bengal || 2x in 3 years
There has been no specific law to deal with the trafficking of humans — one of the largest organised crime violating basic human rights.
Life after rescue from Trafficking (women)
Government Measures —
- The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
- SLSA award compensation
- POCSO Act, 2012
- CrPC and Helpline
The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018
(Passed by Lok Sabha — Monsoon Session (2018))
- Robust and comprehensive policy framework — prevention, protection, rescue and rehabilitation — everything is included
- Elaborated definition of the act of Trafficking — marriage, begging, selling etc (prostitution is NOT included)
- Protection of the witness.
- Include the confidentiality of the victim — recording of their statement in friendly environment
- Rehabilitation fund for the first time.
- Expedited justice delivery mechanism — fast-track and designated courts
- International collaboration for trans-border trafficking — Anti-Trafficking Bureau
- Better administration and coordination among multi-stakeholders by the Bureau
- Strict penal provisions
- Strict and comprehensive surveillance system of the offenders to avoid repetition of offence and security in general
- Bureaus will also develop and monitor database of every crime under this Act.
Criticism of the Bill
- It will criminalise sex workers and transgender
- Sex workers who are into the business voluntarily will be considered as ‘trafficked’ and thus will be put in rehab centres
- They won’t be able to make complaints to the police in case of any exploitation, because of the fear of loss of livelihood
- This can increase the crime and violence against such sex workers, owing to their silence and inability to report to police.
- Law should differentiate between trafficking and consensual sex for transgenders and sex workers. It should legalise the latter.
- The definition of trafficking is not much elaborated and comprehensive — ignores the cases of organ trade, sex tourism, clinical trials, orphanage tourism
- The law is poorly drafted creating much confusion — subjectivity!
- The definition of ‘victim’ is not comprehensive — includes only the one reduced by the police, ignores the rescued ones by the NGOs, friends etc
- Expedite justice delivery mechanism is not much appealing and far from practicability.
- No new courts or judges are mentioned to expedite justice.
Verdict — “The Bill is by a well-intentioned Ministry with wrong advisors, but overall it is a wasted opportunity.”