Bill to combat human trafficking cleared by Cabinet

The Cabinet has cleared the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018. While the latest version of the Bill is not available to the public, the previous drafts available reveal that the intended law will continue to use criminal law as the primary tool for a change, a method oft criticized by experts and sex workers’ associations, for its inefficiency and the harassment it causes to sex workers, the primary constituency that it seeks to protect. The proposed law is likely to introduce several new offences related to trafficking, and set up special district level courts for speedy disposal of cases. The law will also continue to use the prevention, rescue, and rehabilitation model, instead of recognising sex work as legitimate labour.