Anti-Trafficking Bill overbroad and disproportionate; should be referred to PSC
Bengaluru/ New Delhi: 27 July 2018 9:08 pm
Responding to the passage of The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 by the Lok Sabha yesterday, Asmita Basu, Programmes Director, said,
“It is commendable that the Indian government is taking trafficking in persons seriously. However, if the Bill is enacted in its present form, it will put adults who engage in consensual sex work, at risk of human rights violations. The bill has several provisions that are overbroad and disproportionate, which may infringe upon human rights of individuals.”
“The Bill’s main focus is on the criminal aspects of trafficking. It does not address the root causes of trafficking or provide for effective protection and rehabilitation of victims. The Bill was drafted without meaningful consultation with the very people it should protect—victims of trafficking and sex workers, as well as other stakeholders such as civil society organizations. The Rajya Sabha must refer the bill to a Parliamentary Standing Committee (PSC) to address serious concerns raised by these key stakeholders.”
On Thursday, Union Cabinet Minister for Women & Child Development Maneka Gandhi presented The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 in the Lok Sabha. Many of the provisions contained in the Bill are problematic from a rights-based victim-centric perspective, and are not in line with international human rights standards.