Delhi’s placement agency bill will have stricter punishment for agencies employing minors and will propose action against employers hiring child domestic workers.
The delay by the Delhi government in coming up with a bill to regulate placement agencies has resulted in an unregulated business flourishing at the cost of human rights.
The rescue of three girls from a house in north Delhi’s Model Town has once again brought up the issue of protecting domestic help in the national capital.
While states like Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh are active in regulating the sector, Delhi’s placement agency bill is still at the discussion stage. “We are in the final stage of discussion and should be ready by the end of this month,” said labour commissioner Sanjay Saxena.
Sources said that the bill will have stricter punishment for agencies employing minors and will propose action against the employer hiring child domestic workers.
The Jharkhand government bill, which is yet to be approved by the governor, has made it mandatory for placement agencies to maintain a register of employer and employees.
“The bill is must to control the trafficking of minors. I was part of Jharkhand bill and ensured that it should be called placement agency and domestic workers bill. It has covered almost every aspect and should be replicated in Delhi. It has explained the situation of placement agencies and domestic workers very well,” said Amod Kanth, chairperson of Domestic Workers Sector Skill Council (DWSSC) and also head of NGO Prayas, which rescued the three girls in Model Town.
Hundreds of minors (mostly girls) from villages of Jharkhand, Bihar and Chhattisgarh are trafficked to Delhi and employed as domestic help. Jharkhand chief minister had recently said that over 50,000 girls from Jharkhand are in metro cities and about 50% of them are in Delhi.
“The bill is expected to curb trafficking and stop exploitation of domestic helps. We have been demanding the bill for long and government has promised to table it in the next assembly session. It has provision of criminal action against employer, which would deter the common public,” said Rakesh Senger, director (campaign) of Kailash Satyarthi Children’s Foundation.
Despite repeated attempts, labour minister Gopal Rai could not be contacted.
The draft bill of the Delhi government also talks about timely salary and the payment that should directly go to employee from the employer’s account.