Bombay HC orders rehabilitation of sex workers in Goa

Almost eight years after several hundred shanties in the lone red light area in the city were demolished by the Goa government, the Bombay High Court has asked the state to provide rehabilitation benefits to the affected people within six months.

A red light area on the seashore of Baina in Vasco town was demolished in 2004 and the people affected by the demolition were given an assurance by the government that they would be provided with proper rehabilitation.

Anyay Rahit Zindagi (ARZ), an NGO working in the field of stopping human trafficking, had petitioned the high court pleading that the state should be asked to rehabilitate the people who were marooned after the demolition.

On January 8, the Division Bench of Justices M V Kanade and U V Bakre asked the state government to complete the proceedings of granting benefit and making payment to the applicants within six months from the date on which documents are produced before them, in case they are found to be eligible.

The petitioner was also asked to make available the applicants (people affected due to the demolition) before the concerned authorities as and when called upon with the required documents for identification.

After the demolition, the survey conducted had found that there were 900 victims of commercial sexual exploitation and 3,000 other people who were affected.

In 2005, the Goa government had notified a rehabilitation scheme for sex workers, and those whose houses and commercial establishments were affected due to demolition.

The petitioners had pointed out that as per the government scheme, the sex workers were to be provided monetary benefit, skill training and others.

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