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Human trafficking: Chhattisgarh first to launch placement agency Act

RASHMI DROLIA IN THE TIMES OF INDIA

RAIPUR: In what would be termed as one of the vital steps towards restricting trafficking of women and children to metro cities, Chhattisgarh became the first state to launch Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Act with formation of required rules against placement agents.

The long awaited constraint would now bar any person, agent or agency from taking minor girls out for domestic or any other work, without having a licence, says the Act.

Confirming the move, principal secretary of home department NK Aswal told TOI, “Even as the bill was passed during July 2013 Vidhan Sabha session, the Act was pending for rules. Now that the rules have been formed, its notification would be done and it shall be ready for implementation across the state. This would not only control human trafficking in state but also help keep a check on local touts and middlemen easily.”

He further added that any agency approaching Chhattisgarh’s people for employment would have to get them registered as per the Act and follow the new rules. “Licensed agencies would be able to provide employment only to women above 18 years of age under strict conditions and time frame,” Aswal said.

Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking

According to rules of the Act, placement agencies that have been in existence before this notification shall obtain licence within 90 days of notification.

Talking to TOI, CID OSD (child cell) PN Tiwari said that as per the Act any person violating the rules may be imprisoned up to seven years or fined up to Rs one lakh or both.

Proper records would be maintained by sub-divisional magistrate who is the controlling authority for the same. Photo identity card containing details of the domestic worker has to be produced by agencies.

Welcoming the move, Supreme Court advocate Ravi Kant, who has been actively working against human trafficking issues said, “This law is first in the country to be implemented in Chhattisgarh and is a comprehensive piece of legislation. It clarifies stringent monitoring of agencies and would be an important tool to protect child rights specially tribal girls and would help reduce the atrocities against girls and women in Chhattisgarh.”

Chhattisgarh has been a prominent state for trafficking girls and women to metro cities to work as domestic help where they usually get further exploited, abused and pushed into flesh trade. TOI has been consistently tracking human trafficking cases.

Officials hope to get results within six months of implementation of the Act. However, apprehensions were made about requirement of deciding over minimum wages, need of special court to handle agency related issues and competent authority to monitor the regulation of Act.

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