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Sex workers take out march, demand legal sanctity, say lot more to be done

The procession was organised by organisations like Durbar Mahila Samannay Samity and Usha Multipurpose Cooperative.

By: Express News Service | Kolkata | Published: October 3, 2015 12:29 am

ON INTERNATIONAL Day of Non-Violence, observed on Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary every year on October 2, around 4,000 sex workers took out a procession from Sraddhananda Park at Amherst Street in Kolkata demanding safety and security.

The procession was organised by organisations like Durbar Mahila Samannay Samity and Usha Multipurpose Cooperative.

“Today’s rally is against the violence that sex workers are subjected to. The government and administration should ensure our safety and security,” said the general secretary of Durbar, a Kolkata-based body of sex workers.

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“We have four demands — legalisation of the profession, workers’ status for us, doing away with Immoral Traffic Prevention Act (ITPA) and a self-regulatory board for sex workers,” she added.

Claiming that police are often bribed to ensure that traffickers are allowed to go scot-free, she said this would not have happened if there was a self-regulatory body in place to iron out such problems.

“According to the ITPA, the client of a sex worker is a criminal. On the one hand, you call us sex workers, and on the other, our clients are called offenders and are sent to jail for up to seven years. This is contradictory,” she added.

“The Trinamool Congress government has done a lot for us but a lot more remains to be done to ensure that sex workers can lead a respectable life,” she said.

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