Andhra Pradesh

NGOs lobby for political support for trafficking Bill

Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in the State are seeking support from elected representatives to ensure passage of the ‘Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021’ during the upcoming winter session of the Assembly.

In a letter addressed to Member of Parliament from Narsaraopet, Lavu Sri Krishna Devarayalu, the two NGOs — HELP and Vimukti — which are working in areas of women trafficking, said that the bill is critical considering the impact of the pandemic on marginalised sections in the country. HELP secretary N.V.S. Rammohan said that they had submitted a set of recommendations based on their field experiences to the Ministry of Women and Child Development. The need for such a law has been long felt by civil society for institutional relief and rehabilitation response and enforcement of a proactive preventive mechanism, he said.

The recommendations include community-based rehabilitation, redefining rehabilitation to incorporate community-based rehabilitation, and specifying the time limit for a survivor’s stay at a rehabilitation home/protection home. The Bill should also focus on rehabilitation of transgender persons, men and boys, Mr. Rammohan said.

The National Human Rights Commissions (NHRC), and State Human Rights Commission should act as an accountability mechanism for national, district and State anti-human trafficking committees, as a third party agency. Survivors of trafficking should be recognised as key stakeholders in audit and monitoring of implementation of the provisions of this law, and the committees must be mandated to consult with them as such on a periodic basis. There should be a provision to promote regular updates to be sent by Anti-Human Trafficking Committees and NIA to the NHRC at the national-level, the NGOs said.

To ensure transparency, minutes of the meetings and all reports should be mandated to be made publicly available.

The definition of Bonded Labour as per the 2021 Bill (Forced labour is to be defined as per the ILO indicators which include abuse of vulnerability, deception, restriction of movement, isolation and physical and sexual violence, he said.

The NGOs have also suggested that the CBI may be designated as the national investigating and coordinating agency along with the NIA. The Anti-Human Trafficking Units, established in every State as per MHA’s directive, may be deputed to the NIA on a case to case basis for an appropriate period especially where the cases are of inter-State or international nature.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2022 9:53:02 PM |

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