The Delhi High Court Friday sought to know from the Delhi government the reason behind the delay in regularisation of placement agencies providing domestic workers. Justice V K Rao issued a contempt notice to the Delhi government’s department concerned, and asked for a compliance report with regard to its September 2014 order, by which it had directed them to register private placement agencies in the capital.
It observed that the issue has to be taken seriously, as it is being alleged by the NGO Bachpan Bachao Andolan, through their counsel Prabhsahay Kaur, that non-implementation of the court’s directions and the Delhi government’s executive order “is fuelling a business that thrives on human trafficking by unregulated placement agencies across the capital”.
Delhi government’s standing counsel Ramesh Singh said they will table the Delhi Private Placement Agencies (Regulation) Bill in the next eight weeks to regulate agencies that supply domestic workers. He also said he will file a status report in this regard before the next date of hearing, September 5.
The court was hearing the NGO’s plea seeking contempt proceedings against officials of the department concerned for failure to implement the court order. As per the plea, the capital has become a hub of trafficking — both as a transit and destination point — in the last few years.
“The root cause behind such an unprecedented increase in human trafficking in and around NCR can directly be attributed to the unregulated realm of placement agencies… which intentionally target tribal, poor women and children,” the plea said.
In 2014, the government told the High Court that it had issued an order for compulsory registration of private placement agencies providing domestic workers, while making it clear that all unregistered firms will have to shut down after October 25, 2014. “But even after the order, nothing has been done,” the plea said.
The NGO sought directions to the secretary-cum-labour commissioner and chief inspector, shops and establishments of the government, to compulsorily register all placement agencies within eight weeks, and take action against unregistered ones.