Girls cheaper than cattle in India: Kailash Satyarthi on anti-trafficking bill

File photo of Kailash Satyarthi. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Jul 23, 2018, 12.52 PM (IST)

Nobel Peace laureate and renowned child rights activist Kailash Satyarthi has appreciated the cabinet for approving the anti-trafficking bill.

He has also called upon parliamentarians to pass the anti-trafficking bill without further delay.

“This bill (against human trafficking) is one of the best legal drafts, and will provide the strictest punishment to human traffickers,” he said in an interview to Zee Digital.

He said that such a bill was revolutionary because nowhere else in the world had the law tried breaking the human trafficking industry in a systematic manner. 

“It was never treated as an organized crime. Only the social and economic aspects have been considered so far. With this bill, not only will the accused face severest of punishments, but also will have their bank accounts and properties seized,” he said.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill was introduced in the monsoon session of the Lok Sabha on July 18, 2018, by Maneka Gandhi, the Minister for Women and Child Development, and is scheduled for discussion on July 23 in the Parliament.

The new proposed legislation covers all aspects of human trafficking - prevention, rescue, rehabilitation - including aggravated forms of trafficking like forced labour, begging, administering chemical substances and hormones for early sexual maturity, forced marriage, etc.

Human-trafficking is the worst violation of human rights and the third largest organised crime after drugs and the arms trade across the globe. 

The problem of trafficking is particularly prevalent in India since it is a source, destination and transit country for victims of trafficking.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), the human trafficking cases reported across India increased by almost 20 per cent in 2016 against the previous year, to 8,132 cases. West Bengal accounts for the highest number of such cases - comprising 44 per cent of the national total - followed by Rajasthan, which adds up to 17.9 per cent of cases in the country.

A total of 15,379 victims of human trafficking were registered in 2016, out of which over 60 per cent were minors.

(This interview was first published in Zee News Hindi. Read the full interview here)