Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar on Thursday submitted a detailed response to the Draft Trafficking of Persons Bill, 2016 saying that the bill suffers from several flaws. He said that the bill fails to define ‘trafficking’, does not address issues faced by millions of children pushed into sex work and ignores Amendments suggested in 2006 to the Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act, 1956.
He added that the bill would not meet the foremost objective of putting an end to child trafficking for the purposes of sex work.
He stated that that the bill needed to define many more terms, such as sexual exploitation, sex tourism, pornography, brothel and public place and that it doesn’t make the trafficking of children for domestic servitude by placement agencies as an offence.
According to Chandrasekhar, the Bill seeks to override all other laws even if its provisions are inconsistent with such other laws which is a serious issue requiring attention as matters governing rehabilitation of children will have to be addressed through the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015 and the mechanisms set up there under.
Child trafficking currently affects 1 million children in India.The bill has been released by the Ministry of Women and Child Development for comments from stakeholders.
Citing Government figures, Chandrasekhar said that “there are 3 million people involved in sex work across the country, of which an estimated 40% are children- some as young as 5 years of age”.
Chandrasekhar’s stand and submissions on the Bill has been supported by the members of the NCPOC who include HAQ: Centre for Child Rights, FXB Suraksha India, Arz Foundation, Just and Care amongst others.