Delhi govt issues new guidelines for spas, massage centres to prevent sexual abuse, trafficking | Delhi News – Times of India


NEW DELHI: Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday approved new stricter guidelines for operation of spa and massage centres, including a provision to ban cross-gender massage, to prevent sexual abuse and trafficking in the national capital.
Spas and massage centres are required to strictly adhere to the new guidelines, which completely prohibit “any form of sexual activity in the premises” and employment of people aged below 18 years, to obtain health trade licence.
Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chairperson Swati Maliwal had earlier flagged “irregularities and sexual abuse” at spa and massage centres, following which a task force was set up to review her report and take action on it.
Suggestions from the DCW have been incorporated into the guidelines.
“Cross-gender massage shall not be allowed in spa and massage centres. Provision for male masseur for massage of males and female masseur for massage of females shall be made,” the guidelines read.
According to the new rules, there should be separate sections for men and women in spa centres and these need to be demarcated clearly with “separate entry and no inter-connection”.
The rules also ban providing spa and massage services behind locked doors.
There should be self-closing doors in the centres’ chambers without any latches or bolts. The external doors of the establishment should be kept open during working hours, the guidelines stated.
The centres should also have separate toilets and bathrooms for men and women as well as separate changing rooms.
Such centres can only employ people aged above 18 years who possess a degree, diploma or certificate in physiotherapy, acupressure or occupational therapy.
The government has also made it mandatory for such centres to operate only between 9 am to 9pm and install CCTV cameras with recording facilities at the entrance, reception and common areas. Proper lighting facilities should be provided in each room or enclosure.
Centres having more than 10 employees need to have an internal complaint committee under the “Prevention of Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place Act”, the guidelines stated.
Employers are required to obtain Police Clearance Certificates for all employees and undertake police verification of the premises.
The details of all employees, including housekeeping staff, should be maintained in a register. All employees are required to wear an ID card issued by the employer.
“Mandatory provision for production of ID cards of all customers shall be ensured and proper registers containing their contact details including phone numbers and ID proof shall be maintained,” the guidelines read.
According to the new rules, the premises of massage and spa centres cannot be used for residential purposes “nor it shall communicate with any residential portion of the premises, if any”.
The government said the guidelines have been made while keeping in mind the safety and security of the consumers as well as the employees on the premises.

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