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Law meter

Under the Emigration Act (1983) , the worst a human smuggler has to fear is a Rs 1,000 fine and six months in jail.

india Updated: May 07, 2007 23:27 IST


India: Under the Emigration Act (1983) , the worst a human smuggler has to fear is a Rs 1,000 fine and six months in jail. But the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs is considering amending the law to raise the minimum prison term and fine to five years and Rs 25,000 respectively.

Philippines: The Migrant Workers and Overseas Filipinos Act (1995) penalises “illegal recruitment” with a minimum of 6 years imprisonment and a 200,000 pesos fine. For “large scale” crimes, the penalty is life imprisonment and a 500,000 pesos fine. The Act also provides for a Legal Assistance Fund, which covers foreign lawyers' fees for representing Filipino migrant workers charged abroad.

Brazil: Most trafficking victims deported back re-enter the country through Sao Paulo’s international airport, where a victim support centre gives them aid. Here the state works in partnership with an NGO that helped more than 150 women and girls between 2004-2006.

Bangladesh: A government programme distributes anti-trafficking information among microcredit clients, who are mostly underprivileged women quite vulnerable to traffickers. 400,000 at-risk women have been reached at 39,061 microcredit lending sessions, which highlights the relationship between anti-trafficking measures and broader socio-economic development goals.

Australia: The government, with the help of an NGO, has sponsored an education campaign against child sex tourism that has now been adopted by ASEAN. The campaign urges target audiences to call a local hotline to report suspicious activities. In 2005, Australia began 24 child sex tourism investigations, charged seven people, and secured one conviction.

United Nations: The UN Trafficking and Smuggling Protocols came into force in 2003 and 2004 respectively. Both protocols recognise that migrants themselves are often victims and should not be criminally prosecuted. But signatory states have to criminalise the conduct of traffickers and smugglers, and cooperate with other states to crack down on such conduct.

First Published: May 07, 2007 08:22 IST