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Shashi Tharoor
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‘Anti-trafficking bill deficient, refer it to house panel’: Congress Leader Shashi Tharoor

New Delhi, July 26: Senior Congress lawmaker Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said the bill to prevent trafficking, especially of women and children, had “deficiencies” and hence should be referred to a parliamentary standing committee for discussion. Participating in the debate on The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, in the Lok Sabha, Tharoor said that two United Nations experts had publicly warned that the bill is “so bad”. “It will be ill-advised for the government to ignore the public warnings,” he said.

The MP from Thiruvananthapuram said that the UN Special Rapporteur on Trafficking in Persons, as well as the UN Special Rapporteur on Contemporary forms of Slavery, had said that trafficking in persons is primarily a human rights violation, but the bill overemphasises the criminal aspect and does not give due consideration to the rights and needs of victims and their effective protection and proper rehabilitation. “I do agree that women and children are vulnerable because our laws fail them. Let us not have one more law which will fail them,” the Congress leader said. Tharoor said that he was not opposing the bill per se but its deficiencies should be addressed.

Tharoor said that the bill can be brought in the next session of Parliament once it has been scrutinized by the standing committee. Tharoor’s demand was supported by some other opposition members. (IANS)

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