The Anti-trafficking bill being prepared by Women and Child Development Ministry is unlikely to be tabled before Parliament during the Winter Session. Union Women and Child Development Minister Maneka Gandhi today said the Draft Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2016 was sent for inter-ministerial consultations yesterday. "We were ready to bring the Bill to Parliament in December. But with the Winter Session scheduled to start in November, we may not be able to introduce it this year," she told PTI. The Winter Session dates have been advanced this year and will begin on November 16.
Usually it begins in the third or fourth week of November. This is the second time different ministries are being consulted over the draft bill. An inter-ministerial committee had also met last month to deliberate on it. The draft of the proposed legislation has been circulated amongst various other stakeholders for their feedback. Once the draft bill is finalised a cabinet note will be prepared and it will be sent to the cabinet. After the cabinet nod, the Draft Bill will be introduced in Parliament for its passage. The draft bill proposes different forms of trafficking under the category of "Aggravated Trafficking", with punishment of up to life imprisonment. This category includes bonded labour, trafficking for the purpose of bearing a child, trafficking for the purpose of marriage, trafficking for begging, trafficking of a pregnant woman or resulting into pregnancy, among others. The draft also seeks to create a National Anti- Trafficking Bureau for preventing, investigating and protecting cases or victims of trafficking.
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