The Lok Sabha passed the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018.
Some Members of Parliament, including those from the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M), Communist Party of India (the CPI) and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD), demanded that it be sent to the Standing Committee.
The Bill lays down a stringent punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment for aggravated forms of trafficking, which include buying or selling of persons for the purpose of bonded labour, bearing a child, as well as those where chemical substances or hormones are administered, and a survivor acquires life-threatening illnesses such as AIDS.
The Bill proposes establishing a National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB) for coordinating, monitoring and surveillance of trafficking cases. It also provides for a Relief and Rehabilitation Committee and Rehabilitation Fund with an initial allocation of 10 crore. It prescribes forfeiture of property used or likely to be used for the commission of an offence.
“Trafficking is a borderless crime but jurisdiction issues come in the way of investigation. This Bill provides for the NATB to effectively address this aspect,” Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi said while introducing the Bill in the Lok Sabha.