Thu, 01 Oct 2020

NHRC seeks report over plight of sex workers

10 Aug 2020, 04:03 GMT+10

New Delhi [India], Aug 9 (ANI): The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) has sought an Action Taken Report (ATR) from Chief Secretaries of all States and Union Territories over the plight of sex workers in India.

Acting on a petition filed by civil rights lawyer and social activist Radhakanta Tripathy the NHRC passed the order and sought a detailed reply within four weeks.

Stating the plight of sex workers since the outbreak of corona pandemic, Tripathy has stated these victims of state negligence have been worst affected during the period.

They exist and perish in a state-less situation sans bare necessities of life including right to food, shelter, health, livelihood etc. for about five months in the entire country, Tripathy said.

He alleged that the governments have failed to ensure the basic human rights of sex workers and had provided them with no relief or aid packages.

Various estimates put the number of commercial sex workers in India at over five million. The lockdown had triggered a mass exodus of migrant workers from most cities; thousands of sex workers were trapped in cities across India with nowhere to go, Tripathy said.

Sex workers lived on the brink of invisibility, while the lockdown meant a complete loss of income and a struggle for daily survival, Tripathy pointed out.

In urban red-light areas, multiple women stay together in squalor, tiny dilapidated rooms across narrow streets, where social-distancing and COVID -19 guidelines are impossible to follow, he said.

"Even when the lockdown lifts, if they start taking clients, there is no way of knowing who's carrying the corona virus. Unlike HIV/Aids, a condom can't protect them. How does one negotiate safety for corona ?" Tripathy contended.


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