Human Rights Issues

Draft Anti-trafficking Bill 2021

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Not much

Mains level : Draft Anti-trafficking Bill 2021

The Ministry of Women and Child Welfare has invited suggestions and comments for its Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 which it has released.

A re-attempted legislation

  • A previous draft had been introduced in 2018 and had been passed by Lok Sabha despite stiff opposition from both parliamentarians as well as experts.
  • It was later never introduced in Rajya Sabha.
  • Experts say that nearly all the concerns raised in 2018 have been addressed in this new draft Bill.

Draft Anti-trafficking Bill 2021

The Bill has increased the scope of the nature of offences of trafficking as well as the kind of victims of these offences, with stringent penalties including life imprisonment, and even the death penalty in cases of an extreme nature.

Types of offenders

  • The scope of the Bill vis offenders will also include defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority.

Penalty

  • In most cases of child trafficking, especially in the case of the trafficking of more than one child, the penalty is now life imprisonment.
  • While the penalty will hold a minimum of seven years which can go up to an imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh.
  • In certain cases, even the death penalty can be sought.

Definition of exploitation

  • Exploitation has been defined to include, at a minimum, the exploitation of the prostitution of others or other forms of sexual exploitation including pornography.
  • It also includes any act of physical exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude or forced removal of organs, illegal clinical drug trials or illegal bio-medical research.

Victims covered

  • The Bill also extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims to now include transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking.
  • It also does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim.

Investigation Agency

  • The National Investigation Agency (NIA) shall act as the national investigating and coordinating agency responsible for the prevention and combating of trafficking in persons.
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