Never miss a story

Get subscribed to our newsletter

sex workers in India, VOA

New Delhi, Jan 28, 2017: No policy decision on issues that directly or incidentally impact sex workers should be made without meaningful and inclusive consultation with their community, representatives of sex workers organisations demanded on Friday.

Keeping in view the present strategy of Ministry of Women and Child Development (WCD) to enact a comprehensive legislation to address the issue of trafficking of minors, girls and workers, women from All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) and Self Regulatory Board’s (SRB) deliberated on the issue.

AINSW President Kusum and SRB members — Padma Majumdar, Madhu N. and Renuka Prabhu here on Friday said that the community should be consulted in policies made for them and also emphasised that sex work and trafficking should not be confused as one.

Please Follow NewsGram on Facebook To Get Latest Updates!

“The mainstream idea about sex workers is that it is synonymous to trafficking. People and the law always associate the two,” AINSW President Kusum told media.

“The fact that they are vulnerable to trafficking is absolutely true though,” she added.

Kusum also said that her organisation is trying to give the community of sex workers an identity.

“We are not asking the society for any special rights but just the same as any other woman in the country. The support of government is missing. It never bothers to consult us in matters pertaining to us,” she said, adding: “Their policies make us feel that we are wrong. We are trying to give an identity to our community.”

She emphasised on the need to take sex workers organisations into confidence as they are equally concerned and exercised about human trafficking and have decades of experience in implementing their own effective anti-trafficking strategies, including setting up a Self-Regulatory Board (SRB) model.

“I am a sex worker but I don’t support trafficking. I am associated with SRB, which is working to rescue trafficking victims. As of now we have come across 108 cases of minors trying to join the profession,” said Renuka Prabhu from SRB, Mysore.

“They have either been sent back or been registered in institutions where they join various training programmes like computers etc.,” she added.

“If there is no age proof or if there are doubts about it, SRB makes the girl undergo a bone X-ray test to find out,” she explained.

Sangeeta, member of the SRB, Kolkata, pointed out that since 2001 till December 2016, 1,058 girls and women have been rescued from trafficking.

“It is this hard work that we put in starting with 31 cases in 2001 and peaking as high as 113 in 2008 that made us confident that if all sex worker’s organisations get mandated to prevent trafficking of minors and women, it can go a long way in strengthening the anti-trafficking efforts.”

She further added, “I request the government to please involve us while making policies and guidelines about us.”

A human rights lawyer Tripti Tandon, who was also present during the discussion, said: “Although the recent Draft Bill on anti-trafficking had undergone several changes in a span of a few months, the insidious effects of the bill on the lives of sex workers was worrisome to say the least.”

“With raid and rescue being synonymous with shock and fear, what it destroys is trust and respect, which women need the most, to enable them to resist trafficking as is evident in community-led anti-trafficking initiatives,” Tandon said.

She said, “By conflating sex work and trafficking, the law enforcement agencies end up by policing sex work, rounding up and intimidating women especially in brothel situations.”

She stressed that the time has now come for all key stakeholders to place communities most vulnerable to and caught in the cross-fire of trafficking to be at the centre of any consultation on change in law, policy or programme.

ALSO READ: Above 100 Mammoth Skeletons Identified at Mexican Airport Site

To affirm support for the over 3 million sex workers across the country who have played a stellar role in bringing down new infections of HIV, AINSW will join in a protest march on the occasion of March 8 (International Women’s Day) to uphold the rights and dignity of some of the most marginalised sections of the society. (IANS)



7th of December 1949, the Armed Force Flag Day

Since the 7th of December 1949, the Armed Forces Flag Day has been observed in India, annually. This one day is dedicated towards collection of funds from the citizens of India for the welfare of the ‘Indian Armed Forces personnel’. It has become a tradition to pay respect to the people who have served in the army, Navy and Airforce, on this day.

“The idea behind observing a Flag Day was to distribute small flags to the general population and in return collect donations.” The color-scheme of the flag is very similar to the ones used by fellow Commonwealth members like Cyprus, Kenya and Nigeria. The Flag Day signifies that it is the responsibility of the citizens of India to take care of the families and dependents of the armed forces personnel who fight for the country.

Keep Reading Show less

Indians seem convinced that social media is responsible for the increased gulf between the Hindu and Muslim communities.

A large majority of Indians seem convinced that social media is responsible for the increased gulf between the Hindu and Muslim communities in the country.

This was revealed by a nationwide poll conducted by IANS-CVoter with a sample size of 1942 using random sampling on December 5, one day before the beginning of the 30th anniversary of the demolition of Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992.

Keep Reading Show less

Katrina Kaif and Vicky Kaushal are scheduled to reach Hotel Six Senses Fort Barwara located at Chauth Ka Barwara, by 9 p.m. on Monday.

Final preparations are in full swing at Six Senses Fort Barwara which will host the much talked about wedding of celebrity couple Vicky Kaushal and Katrina Kaif.

According to sources, the event company working for this wedding has procured crystal balls and chandeliers from abroad to give a royal look to the wedding. These will be installed in the hotel soon.

Keep reading... Show less