At a time when trafficking of women and children continues to be a major concern for policy makers in West Bengal, activists have launched a signature campaign highlighting the need for a legislation to curb the activities of illegal placement agencies operating in the State.
Activists cite instances of Chhattisgarh and Delhi where mechanism to regulate activities of placements firms have been introduced in recent past. Chhattishgarh, a State with significant tribal population, where migration and trafficking is common, has recently framed rules under the Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Act passed by the State Assembly.
In the Capital after the intervention of the Delhi High Court, a notification was issued in September 2014 which provides for compulsory registration of private placement agencies operating there within 30 days.
“We urge the State Government to regulate the placement agencies operating here, form a committee to verify credentials of all placement agencies, define rights of domestic workers and ban employment of children by the placement agencies,” Rishi Kant, an activist with NGO Shakti Vahini told The Hindu.
Pointing out that the campaign has been endorsed by over 4,000 people on different social networking sites, Mr. Rishi Kant said the campaign is aimed to complement schemes like Kanyashree Prakalpa, a scholarship scheme started by the State government aimed at reducing drop out of young girls.
A compilation of the signatures will be presented to the State Department of Women and Child Development, Mr. Rishi Kant said.
Vinod Kumar Tikoo, a former member of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights, also supported the initiative. Mr. Tikoo, who has worked in Chhattisgarh and Bengal, said that in certain rural areas of Chhattisgarh there were graffitis by a number of placement agencies.