Four public consultations have been targeted in March and April for a proposed private member’s Bill which seeks to combat human trafficking.
“We are aiming to gather the views and insights of voluntary welfare organisations, religious and secular volunteer groups, business and students communities some of whom have already expressed interest in getting involved with the Bill,” said Christopher de Souza, Member of Parliament for Holland-Bukit Timah GRC in a press statement yesterday.
He said the aim is to table the Bill in November and conclude its second reading in first quarter of next year. de Souza had been given the greenlight by the Home Affairs Ministry in November last year to introduce the Bill.
A private member’s Bill – one that is introduced by MPs who are not Cabinet ministers – are rare.
The last such Bill to be successfully passed in Singapore was the Maintenance of Parents Act, which was introduced by then-nominated MP Walter Woon in 1994.
Senior Minister of State for Home Affairs Masagos Zulkifli had said last year that the government supported de Souza’s initiative.
He has also asked the Inter-Agency Task Force on Trafficking in Persons to support the MP on developing the Bill. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network