Delhi govt. prohibits cross-gender massages in spas

Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal. File   | Photo Credit: PTI

In an attempt to curb sexual abuse at spas and massage centres in the city, Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday approved new guidelines that prohibit cross-gender massage, and require larger facilities employing over 10 people to set up an internal complaint committee to deal with sexual harassment issues. The new rules will govern the issuance of health trade licences at these centres.

The guidelines seek to check sexual abuse and trafficking in addition to putting safeguards in place to ensure the security of customers as well as employees, the government said.

The issue of abuse and harassment at these facilities was flagged in a report by the Delhi Commission for Women. Following this, a task force was constituted to investigate, take appropriate legal action, and review the functioning of such establishments.

Other provisions include self-closing doors, prohibition on latches and bolts inside massage centre chambers, and keeping external doors open during working hours — 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

Separate sections

The centres will also need to have separate bathrooms and changing rooms for men and women.

They will also have to employ only people aged above 18 who possess a degree, diploma or certificate in physiotherapy, acupressure or occupational therapy.

In addition to police clearance certificates for all employees and police verification of the premises, mandatory conditions for obtaining a licence to operate such a facility include prohibition on engaging in any form of sexual activity on the premises.

Cross-gender massages are prohibited and facilities must have separate sections for men and women.

Customers will have to provide ID cards and facilities must keep a register containing their contact details, including phone numbers.

CCTV cameras with recording facility will need to be installed at the entrance, reception and common areas of the centre and recordings will need to be retained for at least three months. An internal complaint committee under the Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace Act will also need to be established in centres where more than 10 employees are working.

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Printable version | Sep 25, 2021 1:09:45 PM |

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