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Deliberation on Review of Legislation and Strategies for Addressing Human Trafficking

Posted on :19 February 2020

The Social and Cultural Affairs Committee introduced the review of legislation and strategies for addressing human trafficking to the House.

Presenting the review report, Hon’ble Kesang Chuki Dorjee, Chair of the Committee, reported that human trafficking is a global problem and Bhutan is also affected by this crime. She said that there are five commonly reported types of human trafficking- sexual exploitation, forced labour, child labour, involuntary domestic servitude and trafficking in human organs. She also shared concerns of increasing reports of Bhutanese being allegedly trafficked abroad as well as people being trafficked into and within the country and Bhutan’s recent downgrade to Tier 3 from Tier 2 Watch list in the Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report.

Subsequently, the Hon’ble Members of the Committee reported the current status of Bhutan’s legislations related to human trafficking; Bhutan’s position in TIP ranking; challenges for Department of Law and Order (DLO) as the lead agency; records of human trafficking cases maintained by law enforcement agencies; committee’s survey of missing persons; reported cases of human trafficking in media; human trafficking risks; regional situation and legislation; and push and pull factors influencing trafficking.

The Committee presented five major draft recommendations of supporting and strengthening legislation, policy and international convention related to human trafficking; providing adequate manpower and funding for DLO; creating sensitization and awareness programmes; creating trafficking in persons emergency helpline; and creating employment opportunities.

Following the introduction, the House deliberated on the first two recommendations of the Committee wherein the Members shared various concerns, suggestions and additional recommendations.

The House will continue the deliberation on the remaining recommendations tomorrow, followed by the introduction and deliberation on the Review of Program Initiatives towards Improving the Quality of Education.

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