Thursday, May 17, 2007

India: Tackling Sex Trafficking Through "Maid Ban"

NEW DELHI, INDIA -- India will ban women under 30 from emigrating to work as domestic help in the Gulf and parts of Africa and Southeast Asia in a bid to curb sex trafficking, a report said Tuesday.

The move came after Renuka Chowdhury, the minister for women and children, said that overseas domestic workers had complained of being pushed into prostitution after their employers had seized their passports.

A ban will be "imposed on granting emigration clearance to women below 30 if they are seeking employment as housemaids," Chowdhury, who recently returned from Kuwait, was quoted by the Times of India as telling parliament.

An exception will be made for women who return to India on leave from their jobs and who wish to return to their employers, the ministry for Indians working abroad said.

Some 17 countries will be covered by the ban, which was aimed at halting the trafficking of women for prostitution, the newspaper reported...


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