Banking Services for Sex Workers

There are a number of people who earn their living directly or indirectly through commercial sex work. Exploitation, vulnerability, forced labour; servitude, stigmatization characterizes Commercial Sex Workers (CSW). A sense of immorality, criminality, and informality associated with their work keeps them excluded from mainstream society.

This clandestine work does not allow them to enjoy any social power. They are compelled to keep themselves away from participating in any social, political or economic activities with mainstream society. Moreover, the lack of education, economic opportunities and health opportunities further marginalizes them. Their involvement in protest movements can only be traced in the past decade. A major portion of the money earned by them is given to the brothel owners, pimps and police. In several instances, under the pretext of safety, brothel owners keep the money earned by the CSW leaving them indebted. Lack of financial literacy restricts opportunities for the CSW to move out of her profession.

The first section of the paper encompasses commercial sex work and the dynamics associated with the same. The second section of the paper covers sex work situation in Mumbai and the government, private and civil society contribution for assisting commercial sex workers. The third section covers the problems associated with their financial Inclusion, while the fourth includes empirical analysis of financial inclusion of commercial sex workers. The fifth section provides recommendations.

Conflicts on legalizing commercial sex workers would continue to prevail through generations. In a society like India legalizing commercial sex work is most unlikely.

However, it is possible to integrate them into mainstream society by ensuring that they enjoy the benefits of social and financial inclusion. This could be possible through providing identity documents, schooling, savings, credit insurance etc and through collaborative efforts by police, public sector and private sector officials

Year of publication: 
2012
Author: 
Divya David