PTI | July 3, 2016

Therefore, another section of the Bill that talks about

Therefore, another section of the Bill that talks about its powers to override every other law has drawn huge criticism. "If this bill was meant to be comprehensive, then why isnt there any reference to other laws, like the JJ Act and ITPA," says Bharati Ali, Co-Founder of HAQ.

Objections have been raised about how the draft Bill plans to raise funds. Chapter XII, Section 29 mentions that "Government will create a fund" and adds that "voluntary donations and contributions" may, too, be made by individuals and organisations. "This does not work. We have had experiences with the Juvenile Justice Fund, where there has been a provision for a fund since 1986 and ever since no state has been able to work on this fund because the finance secretaries in each state will say how can you accept donations in a public fund. These nitty gritties have not been looked into," says Bharati Ali. According to Amod Kanth the draft bill doesnt deal with investigating trafficking in great detail. "What is needed is a complete chapter instead of 3-4 lines. We have suggested the need for a body at the national level to deal with human trafficking, which can also centrally collect data on cases of trafficking." Both Rajya Sabha MP Rajeev Chandrashekhar and Bharti Ali say there is a need for separate legislations on trafficking of women and of children instead of clubbing them in the same bill. "My fundamental problem is that WCD tends to club trafficking of children and trafficking of women in the same bucket and tends to look at it as one omnibus crime. My entire contention as a lawmaker is that crimes against children is a very different kind of crime and the sensitivity and the thoroughness of law and consultation has to be separated from that for women," says Chandrashekhar. However, amidst all the criticism there is some praise too in so far as the bill seeks to expand the definition of trafficking beyond commercial sex or prostitution. "There is a big change. Now, there is a paradigm shift. ITPA mostly dealt with prostitution but this bill attempts to move beyond that and seeks to bring within it different kinds of forced labour as well," says Amod Kanth. PTI JC SK RT