Registration of girls employed as domestic help with CWC mooted

They come to cities from the countryside with a dream of a job, and with the hope of not going to bed on an empty stomach. Instead, they come across an ugly reality – back-breaking work with no pay, little to eat, sexual abuse and physical assault. Women and child rights activists claim that a large number of domestic help rescued in Vijayawada complain of sexual abuse, mostly by the employer.

To counter the issue, the Child Welfare Committee (CWC) of Krishna district proposes to push forward a proposal seeking registration of girls aged between 14 and 18 employed as domestic help with the CWC.

“This is a very critical area of girl children. The rule should actually apply to all the minor children but since this particular section (girls as domestic help) are the vulnerable class, we want to insist on it,” says CWC Chairman Thomas Koshy.

Eighteen is considered a child age but child labour limitation is only 14 years. “It is therefore logical that the welfare of these children be referred to the authorities concerned. The aspect of salary payment comes under Labour law but the protection aspect is the responsibility of the CWC,” says Mr. Koshy.

The CWC chief’s statement followed a proposal to this effect tossed by N. Radha, Research and Documentation coordinator for CRAF (Child Rights Advocacy Foundation), a Child Rights Resource Support Centre active in 12 districts of Andhra Pradesh to promote and protect child rights. Citing examples of bigger cities like Delhi where girls above 14 years employed as domestic help are registered with the nearest police stations, she says it will be much easier for the police to register a case in the event of a sexual assault or other atrocities and also for the local NGOs to build up a case against the perpetrators of the crime. “Details of children employed as domestic help are registered with the local police stations in Delhi. It not only helps in keeping tab on the status of these children but will also serve as a deterrent to those with evil intentions. A similar pattern can be followed here to address the issue effectively,” she opines.

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