UNAIDS Report on Sex Worker Rights in India

Oct 13, 2023

Sex workers in India have been fighting for their rights for decades and are an example of the incredible power of community organizing and advocacy. In 2001, over 25,000 sex workers gathered for a festival despite prohibitionist pushback. Their defiance is celebrated every year on March 3rd as International Sex Worker Rights Day.

Also in 2011, a panel was convened to study and make recommendations regarding sex workers rights in India. As a result, the Indian Supreme Court has been steadily removing barriers that deny prostitutes their constitutional rights.

Last year, the Supreme Court of India recognized SW as work, specifically saying that “police should treat all sex workers with dignity.” The court also clarified that known sex workers should not be separated from their children.

Recently, UNAIDS published a review and reflection on the incredible impact sex workers advocates and their allies have had in India. We are delighted to see that UNAIDS is committed to continuing to work with communities, policy makers, and law enforcement to increase awareness and ensure that sex workers are able to enjoy the universal human rights they fought so hard to secure.

A toast to our fellow advocates in India for showing the world what is possible!



Learn More: India’s Supreme Court Orders Police to Respect Prostitutes’ Rights / The New York Times

Origin: International Sex Worker Rights Day

Data: UNAIDS Report