5 million sex workers threaten to vote for NOTA

5 million sex workers threaten to vote for NOTA

Fed up with political parties not keeping their promises, nearly 5 million sex workers across the country under the banner of All India Network of Sex Workers (AINSW) have decided to choose None of the Above (NOTA) in the upcoming elections if their demands are not addressed by the parties in their manifestos.

AINSW has released a seven-point charter of demands for the political parties, urging them to ensure that issues such as police harassment, extortion by goons, the absence of any government pension facility, which are plaguing the sex workers, are resolved.

“If we do not get assurance from your end, we will have no other option but to select NOTA while voting,” stated the release.

AINSW has demanded that political parties must ensure that sex workers and their family members do not face any discrimination while accessing public welfare services and education.

“Children of sex workers do face discrimination while seeking admission in schools and other institutions, in addition to career-building opportunities. This has created an obstacle for them to be part of the mainstream society,” they said.

AINSW has also demanded pension for both female and transgender sex workers at the age of 45, stating that because of the nature of their work, it becomes difficult for them to earn their living at that age.

Policy making

It also demanded that sex workers get adequate representation in government bodies involved in policymaking at the national, state and district level. It argued that the related government bodies should be involved in dealing with issues as health, social welfare, women and child development.

AINSW also demanded that several provisions of the Immortal Traffic (Prevention) Act, which allegedly result in harassment of sex workers by the police, be repealed.

AINSW also demanded that sex work be legally recognised as a profession and be decriminalised.