India - Presentation made at National Consultation Workshop on Facilitating Safe and Legal Migration and Preventing Irregular Migration
Today, the Government of Punjab deserves kudos in being the first State in the country which has taken very laudable steps in proposing to enact The Punjab Prevention of Human Trafficking Act 2008 in the onslaught against illegal trafficking of human beings. This credible law which will strengthen our arms in attempting to wipe out this menace has seven noteworthy features. It defines the offence of human trafficking, provides for a licensing regime for agents and compulsory bank guarantees, gives the power of search, seizure and arrest, creates special designated courts for trials, identifies defined variable punishment for trafficking with or without licences, constitutes a corpus of funds and permits confiscation of illegally acquired property of gullible residents of the State of Punjab. This proposed legislation, as of now, has no parallel law in any State in our huge country.
The urge for migration cannot be curbed. However, it can be channelized, focused and put into a path of managed migration. Educative, informative and friendly campaigns in local languages for the rural folk for creating awareness of using the right methods for travelling abroad can be very useful and adaptable. The role of VFS in this regard through their application centres is tremendous. The experiences over the year through Mr. Jain's film (excerpts of which we will see today also) and other informative campaigns in the media by VFS has really helped.
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