NEW DELHI: The WCD Ministry has rejected arguments made by some UN experts that the Human Trafficking Bill is not in line with international human rights laws.
The Lok Sabha cleared the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 last week.
It deals with prevention of trafficking and rehabilitation of trafficking victims rather than the act of trafficking itself.
In a statement issued jointly by Maria Grazia Giammarinaro, Special Rapporteur on trafficking in persons, and Urmila Boola, Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of slavery, the UN had said that the Indian law in the making seems to conflate sex work and migration with trafficking.
The WCD Ministry said on Monday that the concerns expressed by the experts seemed to be emanating from a “lack of understanding” of the Bill.
“It is the first-ever comprehensive legislation in the country concerning trafficking in humans which deals with aspects of prevention, protection and rehabilitation to the victims,” the Ministry said. “It addresses the gaps of the earlier legislations that only defined and penalized trafficking”.
The government also stressed that immediate protection to the victims has been provided through rescue, with sufficient safeguards to prevent misuse of the law.
“Not only are the victims placed in the safe environment of a rehabilitation home voluntarily, but they are also provided with physical, psychological and social support, including access to education, skill development, physical and mental healthcare, legal aid etc,” the ministry said in a statement.