Ukrainian human rights watchdogs support the conclusions of recent UN reports on human trafficking and say that the activities of dating agencies often create potential dangers in this regard, according to KyivWeekly. “At every convenient moment, we raise the issue about the need for government control of the operation of dating agencies in order to minimize the possible dangers,” PR chief for National Hot Lines of the International Women’s Rights Protection Center La-Strada Iryna Ohorodniychuk told Evolution Media

Last month, the issue of control over professional matchmakers has at last budged from its standstill as Verkhovna Rada lawmakers registered a bill that envisaging the mandatory licensing of “activities connected with the amassing and dissemination (including through the Web network) of information about people with the aim of bringing them together”. The bill provides for a mandatory licensing of marriage agencies and similar firms as a form of economic activity that could potentially violate the “rights, legal interests, moral and health of citizens.” The law envisages penalty sanctions starting from 500 to 1,000 non-taxed minimums (UAH 8,500 – UAH 17,000).

And even though experts express doubts that law enforcers will surf the Web to catch unlicensed matchmakers, licensing will protect the clients of dating agencies. “I believe that such licenses must hang in the offices of all dating agencies in a visible place,” a co-sponsor of the bill MP Volodymyr Kapliyenko pointed out. “In addition, such agencies will be obligated to specify the data of the license on their websites and in advertising materials.”

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