Karnataka

‘New Bill treats sex workers as victims’

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Have asked States to close unregistered orphanages: Minister

The Anti-Trafficking Bill, which the Union Cabinet cleared on Wednesday, treats sex workers as victims and not perpetrators of crime, Maneka Gandhi, Union Minister for Women and Child Development said here on Thursday.

“The present law allows the arrest of those in the profession. But the new bill has a provision to counsel them. If the woman says she is happy in her profession, she is let off without being charged. If she is not happy and if she wants to come out, she will be sent to a rehabilitation centre,” the Minister said.

She was speaking at an orientation programme for family counsellors.

“There are many unregistered orphanages in the country. They may be giving children to families who want to use them as housemaids. We want to close all of them. We have instructed States to act against them,” she said.

Ms. Gandhi said the list of those waiting to adopt children was long. “There are 16,000 people wanting to adopt while the number of children legally available for adoption are 300,” she said.

The Minister plans to enable child victims of sexual offence to directly register complaints in police stations.

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Printable version | Jan 29, 2020 9:58:50 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/new-bill-treats-sex-workers-as-victims/article22912823.ece

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