‘I Support Trafficking Bill’ Campaign Gain Momentum In Assam

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Kokrajhar, July 16: In a bid to support the Trafficking Bill, stakeholders in Assam have started the campaign ‘I support Trafficking Bill’ in the state. Stakeholders in 15 districts of Assam have reached out to the politicians, officials, NGOs and common people to get their support for the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 which will be tabled in the Parliament during this Monsoon Session that has the potential to dismantle the complex modus-operandi of trafficking and attacking the heinous crime that perpetuates violence against our children.

Civil Society Organisations and child rights activists all over the country have expressed solidarity through #ISupportTraffickingBill campaign. Child rights activists are of the opinion that the Bill once passed in both houses of the parliament will be a significant milestone in the journey of ending trafficking.

The current pandemic has unfortunately led to an aggravation of the dangers faced by the most marginalized children in India, especially in terms of child labour and child trafficking. Since the onset of the pandemic the rescue of children from trafficking and the arrest of children has significantly gone up.

As per the Crime in India 2019 Report published by the NCRB the total number of child victims of trafficking is going up year on year. According to the data, the total number of children missing in Assam in 2019 is 1410. The total number of persons trafficked is 248. Number of victims rescued under Immoral Trafficking Prevention Act is 38 and Child Labour Act is 68.

Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021 covers the various aspects of trafficking by including various offences pertaining to trafficking, including aggravated forms of trafficking. It creates a dedicated institutional mechanism at district, state and national level to prevent and counter trafficking, and also for the protection and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking.

Kokrajhar Lok Sabha MP Naba Kumar Sarania has extended his support to the Bill and assured all support to this bill. “This bill is the need of the hour. It is the right time to pass this bill and implement the same in the ground. This bill has captured many important issues like breaking organized syndicates, aggravated form of offence, confiscation of traffickers’ property etc, he said.

The existing bill has expanded definition of trafficking and victim and covers new forms of aggravated trafficking for the purpose of forced or bonded labour, debt bondage, slavery, servitude, sexual exploitation, bio-medical research or trials, carrying out unlawful activities in places such as placement agencies, massage parlours, spas, travel agencies, circus, etc. The bill also provides stringent punishment for the offences of trafficking of women, or children, or transgender under institutional care. The existing bill also ensures immediate monetary relief and compensation.