February 19, 2023

Coordination Committee of Domestic Workers Demands Prosecution of the Employers and the Agency

THE All India Coordination Committee of Domestic Workers (AICCDW), in a statement issued on February 11, has called upon the police to take the strictest of action against the employer couple who continuously subjected their young domestic worker to inhuman torture and abuse at their residence in Gurgaon. It also called upon the labour department to investigate and take action against the agency through whom the worker was placed in this household. There are reports that the girl was a minor; if so, both the employers and the placement agency should be prosecuted under the Child Labour Protection and Regulation Act that bans all children below the age of 14 years form working in any sector.

Despite the fact that several cases of extreme abuse of domestic workers in the NCR region have come to light in recent times, neither the labour department nor the police appear to be taking steps to ensure that they will not be repeated. It is shocking that elite employers who work in reputed establishments and earn handsome salaries treat their workers with such contempt and cannot respect their dignity as human beings. What is even more shocking is the huge silence of the Resident Welfare Associations who are so quick to regulate domestic workers but turn a blind eye when their members flout all norms of basic human decency. All RWAs should be made to give undertakings that they do not employ child labour in their premises.

It also points to the urgent need for a comprehensive law that will regulate the working conditions of domestic workers and protect them from such abuse and discrimination that they face on a regular basis, over which central and state governments are dragging their feet for more than two decades. 

The All India Coordination Committee of Domestic Workers (CITU) calls upon the Gurgaon police to ensure prosecution of the employers and the agency. The worker should receive adequate medical treatment and compensation, and if a minor, be reunited with her family. It calls upon all domestic workers to be vigilant and report such cases of abuse to the union and the local police immediately.