Date: 17th December 10-18:00
Location: Six States in India – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala & Telengana
National Network of Sex Workers (India); NNSW members are organising various initiatives to observe the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers; across 10-12 locations in six states of India (Karnataka, Maharashtra, Telegana, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala).
Activities undertaken by the members include peace march, candle light vigils, meet the press, group discussions amongst sex workers to pay tribute to members who have faced violence and discuss strategies to advocate, organise interactions with local police and government bodies.
The demands of the National Network of Sex Workers across the cities and districts includes the following:
- Full Decriminalisation of Sex Workers in India. This includes removal of all laws that criminalise sex work and their families and their support systems.
- There is an urgent need to monitor the implementation of the ITPA across India, especially to prevent its application against adult consenting sex workers and their clients.
- Immediate measures need to be taken including guidelines for the district and state judicial officers by the Hon’ble Supreme Court that practices such as; detaining adult consenting sex workers for their rehabilitation, “handing over” adult consenting sex workers into the custody of family or guardians, passing orders require adult consenting sex workers to provide undertakings that they will give up sex work as a pre – condition to their release; must be stopped immediately.
- Complaints of illegal detention, abuse in detention or while in custody must be immediately registered and timely action must be taken against erring officers.
- Consent should be taken at the time the women were found. Rescuing as trafficked victims after years in sex work and sending to a correction home is a faulty and inhuman policy. Adult women should be treated as adults. Denying them consent is a violation of their human rights.
- Guidelines must be developed for law enforcement officers on handling arrests of sex workers, registering complaints of stigmatized people such as sex workers.
- These complaints must be dealt with a sensitive manner and within a prescribed time frame. Compliance of these guidelines must be regularly monitored.
- Further the confidentiality and privacy of sex workers approaching the law enforcement and judiciary for redress of cases of sexual assault, exploitation and violence.
- Police personnel and counselors must be trained on handling these cases with sensitivity.
- Strengthen National Human Rights Institutions to increase their accountability to respond to complaints of violence and rights violations by State actors and initiate suo moto action also.
List of participating members– Maharashtra – VAMP, Muskan, Saheli Sangh – Karnataka – KSWU, UKMO – Tamil Nadu – Vadamalar Federation – Kerala – KSNW – Andhra Pradesh and Telegana – Me and My World