Sex workers across India have joined hands to launch a national campaign that calls for decriminalisation of sex work besides social recognition and legal rights to help eliminate violence and exploitation from their lives.
Sex workers representatives from 13 states affiliated to All Indian Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) are here for a two-day national consultative meet on "Protection of Dignity and Rights of Sex Workers" that kicked off today.
"We realise that the community will have to do a lot of work to ensure that the rights guaranteed by Articles 14-21 of the Constitution become a reality for every sex worker in the country," said Smarajit Jana, advisor of AINSW.
Jana said at the conclusion of their programme they will forward a memorandum to President Pranab Mukherjee.
Participants kickstarted their event by tying rakhis to dignitaries like Barun Mukherjee, a Rajya Sabha MP, Basudev Acharia, a Lok Sabha MP and Avijit Mukherjee, MP and son of President Mukherjee.
"As a new lawmaker I have come to know now that implementation of law in India is a problem and another major problem is the interpretation of law," Avijit Mukherjee said.
"There is no doubt that anybody who gives a service is a worker and every worker has the right to demand for their rights. But unfortunately in our society sex is a taboo. Laws has to be enacted for sex workers and whatever is needed for me to do as a law maker I will help you," he said.
Bharati Dey, president of AINSW, said, "We have come to the capital with the hope that political leaders from different affiliations will seriously reflect on our concerns. We are hoping to meet President Pranab Mukherjee next month with our demands.