Tripti Tan­don, deputy di­rec­tor, Lawyers Col­lec­tive

Governance Now - - LAW -

The res­cue and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion pro­vi­sions in the bill are out­dated. The bill falls back on out­moded meth­ods of res­cu­ing and de­tain­ing vic­tims in the name of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion.

Pro­tec­tion homes and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion homes remain the main­stay of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion un­der the anti-traf­fick­ing bill even though in­sti­tu­tion­al­i­sa­tion of vic­tims in homes, os­ten­si­bly for their pro­tec­tion and re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, is an­ti­thet­i­cal to fun­da­men­tal rights and re-in­te­gra­tion.

The new bill is in in­ter­play with ex­ist­ing laws. The last leg­is­la­tion de­fines traf­fick­ing un­der in­dian Pe­nal code (ipc) sec­tions 370 and 370a. Sec­tion 371 of the pe­nal code crim­i­nalises slav­ery. Sec­tions 372 and 373 of the pe­nal code crim­i­nalise buy­ing and sell­ing of un­der­age girls for pros­ti­tu­tion. We al­ready have the im­moral Traf­fic (Pre­ven­tion) act, 1956, which crim­i­nalises ac­tiv­i­ties re­lated to pros­ti­tu­tion and pro­vides res­cue, re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion and cor­rec­tion of sex work­ers, al­beit through a moral lens. The Ju­ve­nile Jus­tice act, 2015, pro­vides a frame­work for pro­tec­tion of chil­dren who are miss­ing or at risk of be­ing traf­ficked. The Bonded labour Sys­tem act, the con­tract labour act, 1970, the in­ter-state mi­grant Work­men (reg­u­la­tion of Em­ploy­ment and con­di­tions of Ser­vice) act, 1979, chil­dren (Pledg­ing of labour) act, 1933, and the child labour (reg­u­la­tion and Pro­hi­bi­tion) act, 1986, which deal with forced labour, child labour, pri­mar­ily through reg­u­la­tion and wel­fare-ori­ented mea­sures.

The gov­ern­ment has not abol­ished these acts, but is cre­at­ing a new law. The new bill fails to de­fine trans sex work­ers and sex work­ers, cre­at­ing more hassles for vic­tims. in such a sce­nario, it only cre­ates more and more con­fu­sion for police and the le­gal sys­tem. it cre­ates ex­tra pa­per­work for the ad­min­is­tra­tion. much of what is pro­posed al­ready ex­isted in the law. The bill, in the name of re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion, is only im­pos­ing sur­veil­lance and re­stricts vic­tims’ freedom.”

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