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Home / India News / 2007 / May 2007 / May 1, 2007
Sex workers demand recognition for their profession
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Sex workers demand recognition for their profession

As the world observes Labour Day today, even people involved in prostitution have demanded recognition for their trade.

Kolkata, May 1 : As the world observes Labour Day today, even people involved in prostitution have demanded recognition for their trade.

Hundreds of sex workers marched through the streets of Kolkota, demanding recognition for their profession on the eve of Labour Day.

Holding torches and placards reading "Love Labour, Just Labour" and "We Work, We Earn, We Want", they said it was time the government started treating them as normal labourers and gave them the same rights and privileges.

Gauri Rai, a sex worker, said they felt it was important to have their voice heard on this day.

"We are requesting the world to recognise us as labourers and to give us the rights entitled to labourers. We also want to prove that our demand is important," she said.

Swapna Gayen, another sex worker said: "I am a sex worker and I am participating in this rally because it is our own hard earned money and we want people to respect that".

Sex workers are a marginalised lot in India and have few rights. They are abused by both their customers and security personnel.

In 2005, official records estimated that there are at least 40,000 sex workers in Kolkata alone.

High levels of violence in the sex industry, the presence of child sex workers, lack of access to health care, and high levels of HIV infection are some of the key issues affecting the sex workers in India.

Prostitution is outlawed in India but the country has over two million sex workers, most of them living on the fringes of society.

Of all states, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are considered "high supply" sex worker zones in India.


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