BENGALURU: On the 20th International Sex Workers Rights Day, sex workers in Karnataka on Tuesday demanded that their profession, which is illegal in India, be decriminalised and brought under the purview of Labour Department.
Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkuta (UKMO) and Sadhane (a sex workers community organisation based in Bengaluru), observed the day under the banner of New Network of Sex Workers (NNSW). The group which has 15,000 members, demanded “workers rights for sex workers”.
Nisha Gulur of Karnataka Sex Workers Union said, “With a struggle for over 20 years, NNSW demands inclusion of sex workers as the new unorganised sector. NNSW also condemns the anti-trafficking, abolitionist discourse which persistently seeks to deny adult sex workers the right to articulate their life choices. However sex workers are determined in their struggle.”
She said, “Since 2017, the government has been intent on passing the Trafficking Bill without any consultation with sex workers groups or networks. The bill has many problems which hits migrants, labourers, and informal workers. Its intent to criminalise activities of people on the margins is a major concern. Sex workers from NNSW opposed the bill on many grounds, including the forced raid-rescue-and-rehabilitation model on adults.”