Friday, September 9, 2016

Prerana ATC: 8th September 2016

 Good News!

The ATC – Prerana is happy to share with you the news on the front of the introduction of a new anti human trafficking law by the Min of Women & Child Development - Government of India.

More than a month ago the GoI had released its 3rd Draft for public discussion after having dropped its 1st and 2nd Drafts in face of strong criticism and informed critique by us and others. We are proud to state that the ATC Prerana for the first time in the country analysed the drafts critically and in an informed and substantiated manner and exposed some of their dangerous effects on the society. Keeping in with its lofty tradition ATC-Prerana also shared its critique widely with a variety of civil society organizations, media persons, elected representatives, international anti trafficking networks, victim collectives, and individuals holding opinion making capability.

Several groups from within India and abroad appreciated the critique issued by us and acknowledged that the ATC-Prerana helped them properly understand the Drafts and their serious implications. ATC-Prerana disapproved the non participatory and exclusive style in which the government Committee (which also had some civil society representatives)  functioned. The law and policy making process in a democracy must be transparent inclusive and participatory and should exhibit accountability. This saves the government from embarrassment. ATC-Prerana also openly appreciated the Ministry’s initiative of reaching out to the public for wider consultations. 

ATC – Prerana played a key role in mobilizing and putting in motion the process of analysing the Drafts seriously by different platforms in an inclusive manner which had been consistently missing in the functioning of the GoI and its Committee constituted for this purpose.

I am happy to share with you the news that we have met with significant success in our initial efforts to block some undesirable changes in the nation’s anti trafficking law. 

  • ·         The Min of WCD Govt of India has withdrawn the 3rd Draft of its Anti Trafficking Bill.
  • ·         It has dropped the idea of repealing the ITP Act.
  • ·         It has dropped the idea of shifting Sections 370 & 370-A from the IPC to the new law.
  • ·         It   has dropped the new definition of trafficking that it had evolved in the 2nd and 3rd Drafts

That is quite a remarkable victory and ATC-Prerana congratulates and thanks all its partners and supporters in this advocacy effort.

It looks probable that a few resourceful anti social and opportunistic elements were trying to mislead the law and policy making processes to certain dangerous ends. The 2nd and the 3rd Draft clearly indicated that some groups were desperately trying to surreptitiously introduce decriminalisation of sex traffickers and sex traders which would have only resulted in the trafficking of another hundreds of thousands of vulnerable women and children from India and its South Asian neighbours besides enormously wasting the tax payers’ hard earned money on creating and maintaining some absolutely uncalled for agencies and committees. These opportunistic elements are still active. I appeal to all the right thinking people to act united to stop them, and to participate constructively in the law making process.

Prerana – ACT launched a multidimensional advocacy drive by appealing to and involving every possible platform that it could from the international to the local levels. We did find ourselves a lonely voice in the beginning but over time the snowball did gather a mass.

Prerana- ATC is grateful to all its supporters and partners for responding to its appeals and calls for meetings. It is thankful to International Justice Mission for generously hosting the rounds of discussions for this purpose. ATC-Prerana is particularly thankful to Mr. Yogesh Pawar and the DNA newspaper for their strategic support.

This is not a time to relax! We have to continue our efforts. The Govt of India has released a 4th Draft and we must respond to that. I strongly feel that the government is open to conviction and has not adopted any repressive or punitive stance to the frank expression of well meaning and socially useful opinions. In this matter I feel that it was merely misled by poor intelligence. We communicated our ideas and found the Govt open to considering them. I feel that the available opportunity to comment on its proposal must be utilized constructively by all of us. Click here to download the 4th Draft for your reference. Do get back with your suggestions and do not hesitate to rely upon your very own authentic and trustworthy source of information and opinion the Anti Trafficking Centre of Prerana.

Proud to protect the vulnerable against the exploiters! Committed to protecting human dignity!!

Dr. Pravin Patkar
Director - Anti Trafficking Centre - PRERANA

On the front of advocacy one has to ACT and communicate and not merely discuss and discuss and discuss leisurely.  If we don’t communicate our views, critique and suggestions on time then it is like buying and wrapping a birthday gift but not delivering it to the person and on the Day.
Advocacy is essentially a political process involving issue identification, issue articulation, issues aggregation and issues communication.

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