NEW DELHI: Legal aid authorities and Community Based Organizations (CBO), representing domestic, unorganized and sex workers, women living with HIV and transgenders today demanded for strengthening of legal assistance to such vulnerable communities.
At a national meet on 'Enhancing Access to Legal Services and Entitlements - Sharing Learning, Practices and Reflections' here today, National Legal Services Authority (NALSA) and State Legal Services Authority (SLSA) released two reports.
The first report 'Our Laws, Our Rights' talked about the legal rights campaign spearheaded by CBOs in the districts of Sholapur, Madurai, Salem, East Godavari, Ananthapur, Belagavi and Bengaluru, while the second report 'Legal Advocacy Initiative' is an account of the project by All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW).
"Women living with HIV constantly face discrimination because there are no laws to protect us against this life threatening stigma. Therefore, it is imperative to strengthen the free legal aid and services being provided by the Legal Services Authority, with greater protection and assistance should be given to victims and survivors from marginalized community," said P Kousalya, President, Positive Women's Network.
Sanyogita Dhamdhere from Centre for Advocacy and Research (CFAR), said, "The dissemination meet was significant because it brought together two key stakeholders-NALSA and SLSA along with the representatives of CBOs, to review and evolve ways in which the access of marginalized communities to entitlements could best be strengthened and advanced."
Renuka Pattar, working with Shakthi AIDS Tadegattuva Mahila Sangh, a sex workers CBO in Karnataka, highlighted the incessant violence and denial being faced by women in sex work.
"Our community women face problem by husband and partners. We need police, medical and legal help, which is often inaccessible to women struggling to survive in sex trade," she said.