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Labour dept to HC: Cannot aid migrant domestic helps

The Labour department on Wednesday declined to accept responsibility for the rescue and rehabilitation of domestic helps,especially migrants,and blamed the lack of a “statutory back-up”.

The Labour department on Wednesday declined to accept responsibility for the rescue and rehabilitation of domestic helps,especially migrants,and blamed the lack of a “statutory back-up”.

A signed three-page document from Joint Labour Commissioner-cum-Joint Secretary (Labour) Piyush Sharma,produced before a High Court Division Bench led by Chief Justice A P Shah on Wednesday,stated that “(on the) proposal regarding rescue and rehabilitation of domestic workers it is submitted that the Labour department for the present cannot accept any additional role for itself”.

Sharma was responding to a series of guidelines for the protection of helps in the Capital forwarded to the department for consideration.

The department dismissed the proposal of issuing identity cards for such workers,saying it is “not feasible since the department has no mechanism to establish the identity of any citizen…”.

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Sharma added that the registration of agencies employing migrant domestic helps in the city is “extremely difficult” as most of them now operate from homes. “A help works in individual households and houses employing domestic helps are not required to get registered under any law at present,” he submitted.

First published on: 07-05-2009 at 00:54 IST
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