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Political class has failed millions of kids by not discussing anti-trafficking Bill: Satyarthi

PTI New Delhi | Updated on January 11, 2019 Published on January 11, 2019

Parliament should dedicate at least one day to discuss issues on child safety and welfare, said Satyarthi   -  Vardhan

Nobel laureate Kailash Satyarthi has said India’s political class has once again “failed” millions of children, who are bought and sold at a “price lesser than cattle”, by not discussing the anti-trafficking Bill in the Rajya Sabha this time.

Noting that children are not yet a political priority and this “painful” thing has been proven once again, Satyarthi said on Thursday that all political parties should come together to ensure that Parliament should have at least one dedicated day to discuss issues and challenges related to child safety, education and well-being.

‘Safe childhood, safe India’

He expressed displeasure over the Anti-trafficking Bill not being debated in the Rajya Sabha, according to a statement issued at the 25th Lal Bahadur Shastri Memorial Lecture on ‘safe childhood, safe India’.

“India’s political class has once again failed millions of girls and boys who are bought and sold at a price lesser than cattle. These victims of trafficking were anxiously hoping for the passage of the anti-trafficking Bill in the Rajya Sabha this time around, but their hopes were dashed,” he said.

“Mere sloganeering and rhetoric will never deliver justice and transform the society. From what everybody saw over the last few days, Parliament — the Temple of Democracy — is being used for reaping political and electoral gains and it seems that our elected representatives are not concerned about far bigger issues that are ruining innocent childhoods,” Satyarthi said.

The Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, was listed in the Rajya Sabha this Winter Session but was not debated or passed.

The Lok Sabha had already passed the Bill in the Monsoon Session of Parliament in July last year.

The Bill provides for designated courts for fast-tracking trials and timely repatriation of foreign victims — within a period of one year from taking into cognizance — which is a highly commendable move as there are many cases of trafficking from across the neighbouring countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka.

Another path-breaking addition to the Bill has been the formation of the National Anti-Trafficking Bureau (NATB), which will coordinate with authorities in international organisations, and facilitate the inter-State and trans-border transfer of evidence.

Published on January 11, 2019
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