Survivors from Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Telangana, among other states, sent postcards to the PM in this regard.

Human trafficking survivors reach out to Modi for passage of Trafficking of Persons bill
news Human Trafficking Friday, January 04, 2019 - 08:37

Survivors of human trafficking on Thursday reached out to Prime Minister Narendra Modi requesting his support to protect the rights of trafficked women and children in the country and ensure the passage of Trafficking of Persons Bill, 2018 in the Rajya Sabha.

The survivors' group submitted over 1.17 lakh postcards, written by people from Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Odisha, to mobilize support for the passage of the long-pending anti-human trafficking legislation.

Reiterating PM Modi as 'Pradhan-Sewak', the letter, signed by groups such as Utthan, Bandhan Mukti and Aazaad Shakti Abhiyaan congratulated the BJP government for amending the POCSO Act, National Nutrition Mission and Triple-Talaq Bill and hoped that the Rajya Sabha passes the Bill.

Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection, Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 introduced by your government is pending for discussion in the Rajya Sabha.

"We would like to congratulate your government for coming up with this draft law, which in our view will provide the necessary action for law enforcement agencies to prevent this crime and sufficient assistance to the rescued victims. We hope that the Rajya Sabha functions and all political parties support this Bill," it said.

While many Rajya Sabha members have supported the bill, it continues to get dissolved among other political debates.   

The bill promises a stringent punishment of 10 years to life imprisonment for aggravated forms of trafficking, including buying or selling of persons for the purpose of bonded labour, bearing a child, and those where narcotic drugs, alcohol, hormones or chemical substances are administered, and if a survivor acquires life-threatening illnesses like AIDS.

Ankita (name changed), a trafficked bonded labour, told IANS, “The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, has a strong mechanism for voluntary rehabilitation and victim-protection and, in its absence, we are struggling for justice, official rehabilitation and compensation.”

According to the National Crime Records Bureau report, 15,379 victims of human-trafficking were reported in 2016, out of whom almost 60 per cent were minors. The report has also estimated that more than one lakh children (111,569) have gone missing till 2016, and 55,625 of them remain untraced.

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