Trafficking survivors seek speedy passage of anti-trafficking bill

Trafficking survivors seek speedy passage of anti-trafficking bill
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Highlights

Eleven survivors of human trafficking on Thursday urged Parliament to pass the anti trafficking bill that would help in their rehabilitation at the earliest

New Delhi: Eleven survivors of human trafficking on Thursday urged Parliament to pass the anti-trafficking bill that would help in their rehabilitation at the earliest.

India's first comprehensive anti-trafficking bill, seeking to deal with the crime from the point of prevention, protection and rehabilitation, was tabled in the Lok Sabha.

Besides the issues of prevention, rescue and rehabilitation, the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 also covers aggravated forms of trafficking such as forced labour and begging.

The 11 survivors from 11 states narrated their ordeal and sought support for an early passage of the bill at an interactive session organised by the Prayas Juvenile Aid Centre (JAC) Society, an NGO, at the Indian International Centre here.

They spoke about different forms of trafficking, ranging from sexual exploitation, bonded labour, forced marriage to the organ trade. A 21-year-old woman from Chhattisgarh said she and her family were forced into bonded labour.

On the pretext of giving jobs, she and 13 others from her village were taken to Odisha and later, "sold" to a landlord. Lok Sabha MP Manoj Tiwari, who is also the Delhi BJP chief, said at times, they did not go into the details of a bill, but having heard the stories of the survivors, he would definitely support the anti-trafficking bill.

Another survivor from Tamil Nadu's Erode district, an engineering student, said she was accidently trafficked. She wanted to pursue her studies but due to financial constraints, she was advised by her mother to work.

She was lured by an agent who promised her a job at a spinning mill in Tirupur. When she reached Tirupur, she was tortured and physically abused. She was made to work for more than 12 hours a day.

"I realised that I was not the only one. Several girls like me were trapped. I was 12 when I was lured with false job promises. Even when we went on sick leave, we were made to work extra and were not paid. When we approached the police, they blamed us for taking up these jobs," she added.

"The new bill has a provision for inter-state investigations and a national anti-trafficking bureau, which will solve the problem," BJP MP Shatrughan Sinha said.

The actor-politician said that though a little late, it was very good that the bill was tabled in Parliament and that he was hopeful that it would be passed during the ongoing Monsoon Session.

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