New Delhi: Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MP Tathagata Satpathy Thursday said in the Lok Sabha that the vague provisions in the Trafficking of Persons (Prevention, Protection and Rehabilitation) Bill, 2018, tabled in the House could have an adverse impact on migrants from Odisha.
The BJD Chief Whip supported the Bill, but tried to draw the attention of the House towards some of its provisions.
“It lays a lot of emphasis on surveillance in the garb of rehabilitation. In Odisha, we have a lot of migrant labourers. The vague nature of the Bill can criminalise all irregular migrants and Odisha might face acute problems,” Satpathy said.
He added, “Many from Odisha migrate to states like Punjab and many middlemen facilitate that. Such migration is also needed for development. The provisions of the law which bats for seizing the agricultural lands of farmers, nabbing middlemen and breaking the flow of migrants are against development of the country.”
Satpathy also said that the Bill did not focus on human rights and did not have a ‘victim-friendly approach’. He said it focussed on the criminal perspective instead of protection and ignored community-based rehabilitation.
The Dhenkanal MP also urged the Parliament to send the legislation to a Select Committee for better scrutiny and to elicit reactions from all stakeholders. “The trade unions seem to have not been consulted while framing the legislation. They should have been consulted as they are also workers. This Bill should be sent to a committee and opinions must be sought afresh. We fully support the Bill and want it to be fine tuned.”
Satpathy told the House that as per Economic Survey of India-2017, the magnitude of interstate migration in India was around nine million annually between 2011 and 2016. However, Census 2011 put the total number of internal migrants in the country at a staggering 139 million, he stated.