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Time for public feedback inadequate in Draft Trafficking Bill, say activists | India News


MUMBAI: Activist groups say the two weeks given by the Center to ask for objections and suggestions to its Human Trafficking (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, is highly inadequate for any meaningful or effective consultation with the groups affected. It is in violation of its own legislative policy prior to the 2014 consultation that requires each bill to be placed in the public domain for at least 30 days, the said Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC) in Calcutta.
The bill was included for ‘introduction, review and approval’ in the List of legislative matters to be adopted by the Lok Sabha. The DMSC, which claims to be the largest community organization of sex workers in India, including transsexuals and men, said it was “shocked” to see that on July 14 it was included in the list of bills for adoption. by Rajya Sabha on Monsoon session, which begins on July 19.
Given the complexities involved, DMSC with the help of Lawyers Collective Other organizations said it took the government more than two years to draft a new bill, but that they are just giving the public time to suggest changes or give feedback from the marginalized community to the 38-page document.
They called the call for comment an “eye wash.” In a press release Thursday, organizations from 17 states signed a petition to the Ministry of Women’s and Children’s Development to allow more time for appropriate stakeholder feedback. He said organizations fear that the bill will criminalize prostitution without preparing a roadmap for the proper rehabilitation of trafficking victims who are minors and are unwilling to do so.
The bill likely criminalizes sex workers and their free choice as a profession, Durbar said, adding that women themselves are often allies in the fight against trafficking and their role and participation in anti-trafficking measures was deemed necessary by the Supreme Court in Budhadev Karmaskar against the State of WB.
The problem with the bill is that it has mixed the issue of trafficking and sex work into clauses 23 and 25. ‘Prostitution’ and ‘pornography’ have been added to the definition of ‘exploitation’ and ‘sexual exploitation’ and they are considered ‘human trafficking’. in people, ”said Dubar President Bishakha Laskar and Secretary Kajal Bose, adding:“ The consent of the victim has become irrelevant. This will mean that sex workers will be seen as ‘victims’ of trafficking and will be placed in rehabilitation homes or arrested as ‘traffickers’, if they provide support to their peers ”.
Some of the other “problems” that women activists have pointed out are that clause 35 of the Draft Law requires reporting a person who has been or “may” have been trafficked or exploited to the police. The DMSC statement read: “Since trafficking is defined in a broad and vague way and sex workers can be considered ‘victims of trafficking’, this means that specific interventions (IT) that carry out HIV prevention sex workers will be obliged to inform the police. Failure to do so may be punishable by 3 months in prison or a fine of Rs 25,000 or both. This will break the hard-won trust between ITs and sex workers, and will destroy the National AIDS Control Program. He added: “When we identify a woman who is being trafficked, we ask her what she wants to do.” If you want to approach the Police, we help you to do so. But if she doesn’t want to, we can’t force her. Policeman they do not always respond to the needs of women. Sometimes they are allied with those above, who profit from the traffic. With mandatory reporting, we will be risking the safety of the victims, as well as the integrity of the program on the ground. ”
One issue that women activists say needs to be debated is the suggested “scale of punishment”, which has been increased for traffickers to include “the death penalty and life imprisonment.” DMSC said: “This is against human rights. The death penalty is not the answer.” to traffic. ”

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