Discussion on ‘Sex Work, Decriminalization and Labour Rights’, on 5th of March 12 noon in Bengaluru

Dear friends

Karnataka Sex Workers Union (KSWU) and Sangama invite you for a discussion among human rights activists

kswu sangama logos

On ‘Sex Work, Decriminalization and Labour Rights’

On 5th of March (Thursday), from 12 noon to 2 PM

At the NGO Hall (Ground Floor), Cubbon Park, near KR Circle, Bengaluru

Recently, the Kannada poet and writer Nadoja K. S. Nisar Ahmed urged the state government to legalise sex work; this statement provoked widespread debate in media and in civil society – many members of the Karnataka Sex Worker Union (KSWU), women’s rights activists, human rights activists, progressive thinkers and many others took part in the discussions. The discussions were very polarised, often missing the nuances about the existing laws criminalizing various aspects of sex work and their impact on sex workers.

To promote deeper dialogue among progressive sections of society we have organised this discussion on sex work. We invite you to participate in this dialogue with the spirit of understanding and mutual respect.

The discussion will start with short trigger presentations by Shakun Mohini, Shubha Chacko and Apoorva Kaiwar,  activists who have been working for the rights of sex workers. We also invite you to stay for a simple lunch after the discussion.

Here are some of the material on the issue for your reference:
1. Shades of Grey – Human Rights of women in Prostitution (by Madhu Bhushan and Shakun Mohini)

2. Trade Union Protections for Sex Workers

3. “Who Says We Do Not Work?” Looking at Sex Work (by Sujata Gothoskar and Apoorva Kaiwar)

4. ‘As Human Beings and As Workers’: Sex Worker Unionization in Karnataka, India (by Gowri Vijayakumar, Shubha Chacko, Subadra Panchanadeswaran

In Solidarity

Bharati (General Secretary, Karnataka Sex Workers Union) and David Bodapati (Coordinator, Sangama)

For more information contact: 96116 90683 (Bharathi)


“Who Says We Do Not Work?” Looking at Sex Work (by Sujata Gothoskar and Apoorva Kaiwar)

Sex workers’ organisations have argued against trafficking and see it not only as a human rights violation, but also as a threat to their own work and credibility. Often the debate is couched in terms of anti-trafficking lobbying/campaigns. The debate needs to be framed differently. Equating trafficking with sex work does a great disservice to both sex workers and to anti-trafficking campaigns, and only ends up infantilising women. The most powerful weapon to deny sex work the status of work is that of stigma. Stigmatising sex work has ensured keeping sex workers out of the legitimate political space and sections of the left and the women’s movement seem to have acquiesced in that.

Here is the the link for the full article: Who says we do not work – Looking at sexwork

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