India

Publication from SANGRAM. Who stole the tarts? Sex work and human rights

This monograph is published by Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM) and written by Sandhya Rao and Cath Sluggett. It draws its title, and all the chapter headings, from Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The authors argue that the farcical fantasy of Alice’s adventures in the mythical Wonderland seems an apt reference to the unfamiliarity of the terrain that they have had to navigate when attempting to assess the ways in which the human rights framework has succeeded and where it has failed for sex workers in India.

The Crusade Against Sex Trafficking

This news story, by Noy Thrupkaew in The Nation, explores approaches to combatting trafficking with particular reference to the work of the International Justice Mission.

A survey of the various types of social, physical and occupational oppressions heaped upon our sex workers before and after their entry into sex work

The survey has was conducted by the Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee (DMSC), a forum representing the interest of more than 60,000 sex workers of West Bengal, India. Sex workers, who had a past history of marriage, were considered for the study. A predetermined sample of 200 was found to be sufficient for this study, based on the existing research data on the incidence of violence in the domestic settings.

Streetwalkers Show the Way: Reframing the Global Debate on Trafficking from Sex Workers’ Perspectives

This paper documents action research and discussions on trafficking by Durbar, a network of 60,000 female, male and transgender sex workers in India. Durbar finds that the realities of trafficking as experienced by sex workers are very different from the myths. Durbar’s research found that while most of the sex workers they interviewed were poor and lacked options, they left home by their own choice, in search of better livelihoods, to escape violence or drudgery, or to seek love.

Intimate partner violence is as important as client violence in increasing street-based female sex workers

An article by Panchanadeswaran S, Johnson SC, Sivaram S, Srikrishnan AK, Latkin C, Bentley ME, Solomon S, Go VF, Celentano D. in the International Journal of Drug Policy, 2008 Apr;19(2):106-12.

Searching for justice for body and self in a coercive environment: sex work in Kerala, India

This article appears in Reproductive Health Matters, 2004 May;12(23):58-67. Sex workers in Kerala, India, live in a coercive environment and face violence from the police and criminals, lack of shelter, lack of childcare support and have many physical and mental health problems. This paper documents the environment in which women have been selling sex in Kerala since 1995, and their efforts to claim their rights. It is based on sex workers' own reports and experiences, a situation analysis and a needs assessment study by the Foundation for Integrated Research in Mental Health.

Can sex workers regulate police? Learning from an HIV prevention project for sex workers in southern India

An article by Biradavolu, M. Burris, S. and George, A. in Social Science and Medicine, Apr;68(8):1541-7. Interventions that mobilize sex workers to seek changes in laws and law enforcement practices have been prominent in India and have received considerable scholarly attention. Although it is acknowledged that policing practices can exacerbate HIV risk, there are few studies on the strategies sex worker advocates use to modify police behaviour or the struggles they face in challenging state institutions.

Streetwalkers show the way: reframing the global debate on trafficking from sex worker perspectives

An IDS Working Paper by Bandyopadhyay N. which documents action research from Durbar in India.

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