Slavery - Human Trafficking (Getty Images/Vetta)
Slavery - Human Trafficking (Getty Images/Vetta)

Human trafficking bill does not address online commercial sexual activity: NGO tells Centre

NGO Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ) sent its feedback to Santanu Brajabasi, under secretary to the Government of India, ministry of women & child development, the department sponsoring the bill in Parliament
By Gerard de Souza
PUBLISHED ON JUL 15, 2021 04:18 PM IST

The newly drafted Trafficking in Persons (Prevention, Care and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2021, which is set to be tabled in Parliament during the coming monsoon session, does not adequately address the issue of online commercial sexual activity and exploitation, Goa’s nodal non-government organisation (NGO) dealing with human trafficking has said.

The Centre published a draft of the bill last week, inviting suggestions from all stakeholders by July 14, this Wednesday. NGO Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ) sent its feedback to Santanu Brajabasi, under secretary to the Government of India, ministry of women & child development, the department sponsoring the bill in Parliament.

ARZ is the nodal NGO appointed by the Goa Police to assist their integrated anti-human trafficking unit said the state remained a hot spot for online means of human trafficking and commercial sexual activity.

“There is a need to include online commercial sexual exploitation in the definition of “offences with cross border implications”, especially in the cases where the domain is registered outside India and the website is involved in soliciting girls in India for commercial sexual activities,” ARZ founder Arun Pandey said.

“Online commercial sexual activity is an emerging trend in India but the bill is silent on that,” he added.

“There is no mention for blocking websites and other electronic forms or digital technology used for sharing information for commercial sexual activity and soliciting, and seducing for the online commercial sexual activities,” he added.

ARZ has also called for a special investigating agency similar to the Narcotics Control Bureau to be established under the ministry of home affairs solely to combat human trafficking.

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