A demonstration was staged in the city on Wednesday against Sumangali Scheme (Camp Coolie System) under which young girls are lured to work as bonded labourers.

The protest was organised by Campaign Against Camp Coolie System (CACCS) in collaboration with a few other non-governmental organisations.

The protestors demanded that the Tamil Nadu Government should ban all forms of camp labour systems such as ‘Sumangali Scheme’ or ‘Mangalya Scheme’ or ‘Thirumagal Thirumana Thittam.’ Keeping in line with the United Nations Convention of Child Rights, all those below 18 years should be considered child labourers.

They said all textile mills were supposed to have anti-sexual harassment committees as per the Supreme Court’s guidelines in the Vishaka Case judgement. If the worker was above 18 years and had completed 480 days of job, her or his services must be regularised under the Conferment of Permanent Work Status to Men Act - 1981, with labour benefits and social security measures.

Strict implementation of the RTE Act in schools would prevent adolescents from being exploited as mill labourers. Statistics suggested that girls from southern districts formed the majority of bonded labourers.

Constructive development schemes should be initiated in the region, they demanded.

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