The government needs to fast-track passage of the proposed anti-human trafficking Bill and set up an effective enforcement machinery to deal with this organised crime, say experts. The draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill aims to create a strong legal, economic and social environment against such a practice and other related matters.
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“The reduction in trafficking reportedly created by demonetisation can increase if not handled effectively. The government needs to pass the anti human trafficking Bill at the earliest to have a comprehensive check on the situation,” said P M Nair, Chair Professor at Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), said.
He said trafficking is an organised crime and called for special expertise to tackle the same.
“We have several provisions in our legal system to check child labour and commercial sexual exploitation of children. However, there is no comprehensive law to tackle human trafficking. It is the first step towards all these crimes, and we need to have a comprehensive law to tackle this,” he added.
Passing a law is not enough and there is a need for its effective enforcement and implementation, Nair emphasised, who is heading TISS research with support from the government and certain UN bodies on human trafficking.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs at the Centre and states need to take a more active role in driving enforcement of existing and emerging legislations,” he suggested.
Elaborating on how to prevent this menace, he said effective rehabilitation of the rescued children and women are important besides coordination among all departments and with civil society and corporates.
He also suggested that panchayat representatives can put in efforts to empower citizens in ensuring trafficking is prevented and “traffickers are taken to task”.
Another expert is of the view that the proposed draft of the anti-human trafficking Bill seems promising in that it has dwelt at length on rehabilitation of victims.
“However, the Bill may still not be sufficient enough as there has been a convenient neglect of victims who run away or break away from their captives,” said Sanjeev P Sahni, Principal Director, Jindal Institute of Behavioural Sciences.