The draft of a new anti-trafficking legislation has proposed a series of tough measures against trafficking and has sought to ensure that victims are not treated as offenders. The draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill 2016 proposes rehabilitation as a right to all victims of trafficking, along with measures like new identities and safety protocol for women who are trafficked, The Times of India reported. Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi unveiled the draft on Monday, and said it “plugs loopholes in existing laws and brings within its fold additional crimes pertaining to trafficking which don't find a place in the existing laws.”
Gandhi added that as per current laws, the trafficker and those trafficked can be jailed for the crime. When asked about decriminalisation of prostitution, she said it was a “grey area” that required further discussion. There is no single law that deals with trafficking in India right now, and the crime is covered by several laws administered by multiple ministries, Hindustan Times reported.
The draft Bill has introduced penalties for offences like administering drugs and alcohol to those trafficked, and injecting hormones into victims. Traffickers inject oxytocin into young victims to accelerate their sexual maturity before they are forced into prostitution, reports have said. The Bill also looks at a agency to investigate cross-border trafficking cases. Human trafficking is the third largest organised crime in the world.