Anti-trafficking law must not victimize consenting adults: Tharoor

By India News Stream Staff
July 9, 2018
New Delhi: Congress MP Dr Shashi Tharoor today cautioned against the proposed anti-trafficking law victimizing or targeting adult consenting workers, especially sex workers.

Dr Tharoor today expressed his concern regarding The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018 to Minister for Women and Child Development, Maneka Gandhi.

The Thiruvananthapuram MP presented the Minister with a petition consisting of comments from 30 civil society organizations, 247 activists & lawyers, with the endorsement of over 4,000 sex workers across the country.

He said the existing legal regime and the law enforcement agencies often conflate those trafficked into sex work, along with those engaging in sex work out of their own volition.

Therefore, the Bill must place suitable provisions to prevent its misuse, to ensure that only consenting adults are sent to such homes, and that regular periodic reviews and checks must be conducted, as many of these homes can often be places of torture and abuse.

Dr. Tharoor cited a study, which has shown that 77% of women who were released from rehabilitation homes, returned to sex work, to explain why the Ministry must rethink the present institutional method of rehabilitation.

Ms. Anjali Gopalan, the Director of the Naz Foundation, Ms. Meena Seshu the General Secretary of SANGRAM and Ms. Aarti Pai, member of the National Network of Sex Workers also accompanied the MP during his meeting with the Minister.

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