Present Status: Open for public suggestions till 14th Jul 2021
About Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021
- To prevent and counter trafficking in persons, especially women and children.
- To provide for care, protection, and rehabilitation to the victims, while respecting their rights
- To create a supportive legal, economic and social environment for the victims
- To ensure prosecution of offenders
- The bill has increased the scope of the nature of offenses of trafficking as well as the kind of victims of these offenses with stringent penalties.
- Ministry: Women and Child Development (WCD)
- A previous draft of the bill (The Trafficking of Persons Bill 2018) was passed in the Lok Sabha in 2018 but was never introduced in the Rajya Sabha.
Key Provisions of the Bill:
- Definition: The bill defines exploitation to include the exploitation of the person for prostitution or other forms. Which includes pornography, forced labour, forced removal of organs or illegal clinical drug trials.
- Includes Transgender: The bill extends beyond the protection of women and children as victims. It now includes transgenders as well as any person who may be a victim of trafficking.
- Victim Definition: The bill does away with the provision that a victim necessarily needs to be transported from one place to another to be defined as a victim of trafficking.
- Application: The law will apply to all citizens of India, within and outside the country, persons on any ship or aircraft registered in India wherever it may be or carrying Indian citizens wherever they may be, and a foreign national or a stateless person who has residence in India. It also says the law shall apply to every offence of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications.
- Punishment: The Punishment will be for a minimum of seven years period, which can go up to an imprisonment of 10 years and a fine of Rs 5 lakh. However, in cases of the trafficking of more than one child, the penalty is life imprisonment. In certain cases, even the death penalty can be sought.
- More severe penalties in case of aggravated offences, like death of a victim.
- Nodal Investigative Agency: National Investigation Agency (NIA) shall act as the national investigating and coordinating agency responsible for prevention and combating of trafficking in persons.
- National Anti Trafficking Committee: Once the bill becomes an Act, the central government will notify and set up a National Anti Trafficking Committee, while state governments will set up these committees at state and district levels to ensure effective implementation.
- Jurisdiction: The bill will extend to all citizens inside as well as outside India. It will also be applied to every offence of trafficking in persons with cross-border implications.
- Seizing of Property: Property bought via trafficking as well as used for trafficking can now be forfeited, similar to that of the money laundering Act.
- Expands coverage: The scope of the Bill vis a vis offenders will now also include defence personnel and government servants, doctors and paramedical staff or anyone in a position of authority. Penalty for the guilty will include life imprisonment along with a fine of Rs 30 lakh.