The government is working on a comprehensive legislation to tackle all kinds of child trafficking as existing laws have “no focus” and have become “inadequate”. A senior official of Women and Child Development Ministry said trafficking is not only for sexual exploitation but also done for forcing children into labour and organ trade and the existing laws like Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act and Protection of Children Against Sexual Offences (POCSO) are inadequate in such cases.
“There are problems of definition in the present legislations. Like, the law dealing with child trafficking for forcing them into labour hardly provides any effective provisions and even sexual exploitation is not properly defined in some of the acts,” the official said. The Ministerial Standing Committee, chaired by the Secretary, along with representatives from the ministries concerned, state governments and some NGOs as its members, thus decided to form a comprehensive legislation to tackle all kinds of trafficking.
“We all came to a consensus that there should be a separate law dealing with all aspects of trafficking as the legal provisions currently are spread across four-five acts and there is no focus,” the official said. While WCD is the nodal ministry to finalise the law, Home Ministry will prepare a concept note on the issue. “The Home Ministry will give a concept paper on the legislation. Then we all ask the Law Ministry to draft the law,” the official said. The ministry is also working on constituting standard procedures or protocol for rehabilitation of victims.
“Rehabilitation needs to be handled with sensitivity but there are no procedures to follow in many states. A decision to notify Standard Operating Procedures to deal with rehabilitation of victims has been taken,” the official said. The National Legal Services Authority had suggested roles of various stakeholders in the prevention, rescue and rehabilitation of victims of trafficking for commercial and sexual exploitation.
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