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New trafficking Bill to be complemented by changes in IPC, says Irani

Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani said the Bill not only provides for protection of victims, but also protection of witnesses of human trafficking crimes.

Written by Esha Roy | New Delhi |
July 31, 2021 2:48:33 am
Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani

During a National Consultation meet ahead of the tabling of the Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 in the monsoon session of Parliament, Union Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Friday said that the Ministry of Home Affairs has agreed to bring changes in the Indian Penal Code in keeping with the new Bill.

She said the Bill not only provides for protection of victims, but also protection of witnesses of human trafficking crimes.

“In many a conversation it has been highlighted that the IPC does not conform to, or live up to, the expectation of the populace with regard to stringent punishment when it comes to human trafficking. I’m happy to share that in our conversation with the MHA, we have been assured that appropriate amendments to the IPC will also be made to complement the seriousness with which the government proposes the trafficking Bill,” Irani told the stakeholders.

The National Consultation is being spearheaded by Nobel laureate and Bachpan Bachao Andolan’s Kailash Satyarthi who, kicking off the meet, said the Bill was one of the “best pieces of legislation” on the issue in the world.

“For the first time, we are looking at trafficking in its entirety, as an organised crime. Which means that the Bill will now propose a comprehensive list of different forms of trafficking which are aggravated in nature and accordingly enhance punishment for the same,” said the minister.

Irani flagged the issue of mandatory reporting of trafficking, which she said was one the most important aspects of the Bill.

She also said that concerns and suggestions that came out of the National Consultation would be incorporated in the Bill.

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