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India Dramatically Tightens Laws on Sexual Assault & Trafficking

World  (tags: world, humanrights, Human trafficking, sexual assault, India new laws )

- 1936 days ago -
India dramatically tightened its laws on sexual assault and trafficking Sunday, with a far-reaching package of measures rushed through to satisfy public opinion in the wake of the horrific gang rape and murder of a young woman in the capital in December.

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Kit B (276)
Sunday February 3, 2013, 2:42 pm

What a shame that it takes such a horrible crime and international news to finally get some action. Better late than never. I understand that women in India even fear for use of public transportation, so yeah - they need some very rigorous laws. Just do not emulate the US, we seem to question rape even when a woman is beaten into a coma.

Naoko i (264)
Sunday February 3, 2013, 3:42 pm
Surely India needs tougher laws...but the problem is more with enforcing them than making. And more important is to change the society and people's mindset. This (tightening of the laws) seems to me the government's excuse rather than real determination to end the violences.

Past Member (0)
Sunday February 3, 2013, 8:50 pm
I agree with the above Cheers Rose

Barbara Tomlinson (431)
Sunday February 3, 2013, 9:24 pm
For the first time, trafficking has been outlawed in India, with stiff penalties both for the trafficker and someone employing people who have been trafficked.

In effect, that means anyone employing children as maids in India, a not insignificant proportion of the population, could be jailed for at least five years, while the vast network of “placement agents,” who bring children from poor villages to work in India’s towns and cities, could be put away for at least 14 years. A police officer or other public servant found to have been involved in trafficking would be jailed for life.

The dramatic changes, if implemented, could provide significant deterrence for India’s huge child labor industry.

The ordinance went beyond Verma’s recommendations in just one area, with the government bowing to popular pressure to allow the death penalty when a rape left a woman in a persistent vegetative state.

Women’s groups had urged President Pranab Mukherjee not to sign the ordinance into law, saying the government had “betrayed” the people of India by failing to implement the Verma Committee recommendations fully. They have pledged to continue their protests this week.

The committee had recommended that members of the armed forces accused of rape be tried under civilian law, instead of being protected by a special law that gives them virtual immunity from prosecution. It had also recommended that parliamentarians charged with rape and other serious crimes be forced to resign their posts, and that marital rape be outlawed.

All those recommendations were ignored, although the government insisted that it is open to further discussions and possible amendments when the law reaches parliament, which is expected to approve the changes. The next step is a parliamentary committee, which will examine Verma’s recommendations in more detail.

“The reluctance to address the accountability for the police or for the army is a problem,” said Meenakshi Ganguly of Human Rights Watch. “Any state that wants to address this [violence against women] will have to deal with accountability.”

But Ribhu said there was still time to discuss those more politically sensitive issues in parliament. For the time being, he said the new law represented perhaps the most significant set of changes to India’s penal code to protect women since it was first implemented by British colonial rulers in 1862.

A law to outlaw the payment of a dowry when women are married was introduced in 1961 and tightened in the 1980s, while a bill to outlaw domestic violence came into force in 2006.

“Parliamentary debate can wait, public opinion can wait, but women need to be protected now,” Ribhu said. “Every single hour a women is getting raped in India. Eighteen children get raped in a single day on average in India, and every single day, hundreds of thousands of women are assaulted, groped, stalked and trafficked.”

alicia m (97)
Sunday February 3, 2013, 11:03 pm
noted, gracias

Vivien Green (153)
Monday February 4, 2013, 7:32 am
This is good news Rose, I hope they enforce the laws.

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penny C (83)
Monday February 4, 2013, 7:37 am
Thanks Rose.

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 10:12 am
Finally I hear good news.
I think that these people, they need to decades of education and morality.
Noted , Thanks Rose .

Past Member (0)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 11:09 am
Sexual assault and trafficking are not cool.

Autumn S (151)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 12:54 pm
Thanks, Rose

Mary Donnelly (47)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 1:10 pm
Thanks Rose--now let's see how well these laws are implemented.

Stan B (123)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 1:46 pm
This was long overdue.

MarietteAWAY G (175)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 2:31 pm
Great news, thanks Rose. I agree with Kit and Naoko.

Aurea Aurea Walker (226)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 3:01 pm
I truly admire and respect the women of India for their RAGE and protesting so strongly in such large numbers. We american women need to take a page out of their book and emulate them. The trafficking in America is also a huge problem. What numbers of forced prostitutes were sent to New Orleans for Super Bowl Sunday would shock most people. We are not talking hundreds but thousands of either under age or very young women who were forced to "service" a minimum of 50 john's a day!

Sonny Honrado (5)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 5:29 pm
About time. Thanks.

Rebecca Y (26)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 6:19 pm
What I have never been able to understand is how all the people in these countries that have treated women and children deplorably for centuries have let it continue until now and even now, they have been humiliated into making the laws against such treatment otherwise it would continue. They do not value women at all. It makes me sick and it makes me darn mad!

Eugene C (3)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 6:47 pm
Signed and noted. This is an issue that l feel very strongly about! I don't believe there will ever be peace in this world until women are truly honoured and respected. Of course that means that women must come to a place of honouring and respecting themselves too, and boys need to be educated to not only honour women, but learn to become honourable men...........That means learning to love themselves enough so that they would never feel the need to abuse or control women.

Vicky P (476)
Tuesday February 5, 2013, 8:39 pm
As the article didn't go far enough, they still didn't outlaw rape in marriage.

Robert O (12)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 12:04 am
Good news and long overdue. Thank you Rose.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 5:31 am
Thanks for sharing.

Past Member (0)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 9:45 am
it is a begining....................................

James Merit (144)
Wednesday February 6, 2013, 11:04 am
This is good start, I agree above with Kit B, and Naoko I, thank you for sharing.

Dana H (229)
Thursday February 7, 2013, 7:05 am
Awsesome news rose, thank you

Melania Padilla (122)
Monday February 11, 2013, 8:21 am
Thanks, I hope this is just the first step to help women.... Enough is enough.

Yvonne F (181)
Wednesday February 13, 2013, 8:05 am
Fngers crossed that this will lead to an end of the abuse! Thanks Rose
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