India: Sex workers rue discrimination against their children

New Delhi, March 5, DHNS:

Sex workers in the country who are forced to live with ostracism have demanded a key legislative change to allow their children pursue higher studies using their mothers’ income.

According to the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act (ITPA), 1960, if anybody above 18 years uses the earnings of a sex-worker, he or she can be prosecuted. If the children of sex workers use their mothers’ income, long hand of law can catch them.

“How many children start earning at 18? Why this bias against us when we strive to study and make a living against all social hurdles,” rues Parvati, daughter of a Kolkata-based commercial sex worker. Continue reading

A Lack of Transparency (re Apne Aap Women Worldwide)

By NIHARIKA S. JAIN and TARA SURI
Published: Tuesday, November 02, 2010

In a New Delhi village where a staggering 85 percent of women are victims of sex trafficking, the Najafgarh Community Centre is imprinted with the sign of Venus, the symbol for the female gender and for the anti-trafficking organization “Apne Aap Women Worldwide.” On its website, Apne Aap says it runs the Najafgarh Community Centre for the empowerment of women and children, a claim that it makes to donors worldwide. Unfortunately, the striking symbol and the large letters etched below it spelling out “Apne Aap” seem to be the organization’s only mark on the village.

We learned all this when we arrived in Najafgarh this summer with a bold idea to help the villagers transform their situation. After reading about Apne Aap and corresponding with its founder, Ruchira Gupta, we raised $20,000 to fund a vocational training program that would teach the women to sew and provide a sustainable job option as an alternative to prostitution. After an initial $12,000 donation, we received monthly reports from Apne Aap listing names of women and children involved in programs at the Community Centre. Yet we also received desperate e-mails from the community coordinator complaining that Apne Aap was not allocating money appropriately. But in light of the international accolades the organization had been receiving for its efforts to help female sex workers, we were loath to think our $12,000 contribution had been misused, Continue reading

Sex workers, governments and UN join hands to boost AIDS response in Asia-Pacific region

PATTAYA, Thailand, 15 October 2010 – At the first-ever Asia-Pacific consultation on HIV and sex work, sex workers, government officials and United Nations participants emphasized the need for urgent action to increase focus and positioning of sex work within HIV responses in the region.

Close to 150 delegates from eight countries (China, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea and Thailand) met in Pattaya, Thailand, to form partnerships and review policies and laws that keep sex workers from accessing HIV services and sexual and reproductive health services.

“Sex work interventions must be central to scaling up the HIV response, and listening to sex workers is crucial,” said Jan Beagle, Deputy Executive Director of the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) who spoke at the consultation. “Sex workers experience firsthand the effects of laws and harmful enforcement practices that violate their human rights and hamper progress on HIV,” he said. Continue reading

India: Neither Victims Nor Voiceless: Sex Workers Speaking for Themselves

By Audacia Ray, RH Reality Check.
Posted January 12, 2010.

Painting a portrait of people in the sex industry as victims without voices only perpetuates their disempowerment.

Since becoming a part of the U.S. sex worker rights movement five years ago, talking about contentious issues concerning bodies, labor, money, and rights has very much become my calling. In the past year alone, I’ve been quoted on CNN about the value of virginity, talked about South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford on WNYC’s The Takeaway, and admonished the Boston Herald for its slurs toward sex workers. Suffice to say, I give my opinion freely and often loudly.

I thought I knew a lot about sex work, rights, and organizing when, in September, I set off for two weeks in India with my colleague Khushbu Srivastava, Program Officer for Asia at the International Women’s Health Coalition. But as much as I am accustomed to being an “expert,” I quickly realized that I knew next to nothing about the nuances of Indian culture and the dynamics of the local struggle for sexual rights and reproductive health. While there are many things that I learned Continue reading

Hang in there, India

By Craig Young – 1st July 2009

After the heartbreak occassioned by the brutality of Iran’s Ahmajenidad regime against student and other youthful protestors, India may be about to embrace homosexual law reform at long last.


Zoltan Parag: Mr. Gay India 2008

India’s Congress Party-led federal coalition government will hold talks on repealing the country’s colonial era antigay laws. Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was passed in 1860 under the tenure of the British Raj, and was meant to mirrorthe anti-sodomy laws that prevailed in Great Britain during that period. Continue reading

India on US watch list

Spl Correspondent

NEW DELHI, June 17 — India has again been placed on Tier 2 Watch List by the US State Department because New Delhi failed to fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. India is a source, destination, and transit country for men, women, and children trafficked for the purposes of forced labour and commercial sexual exploitation. Internal forced labour may constitute India’s largest trafficking problem; men, women, and children in debt bondage are forced to work in industries such as brick kilns, rice mills, agriculture, and embroidery factories, said the US Human Trafficking Report 2009. Continue reading

India: Bipasha to get real with prostitute!

by Rajiv Dutta

After portraying an unconventional character in Pankh, the actress is yet another working with director Sudipto Chattopadhyaya. This time Bips would be playing a prostitute living in Kolkata’s largest red light area called Sonagachi.

In the movie, Bipasha nurses a child, who is a victim of pedophilia. Sudipto is leaving no stones unturned to make his movie as realistic as possible. The grapevine suggests that the filmmaker has roped in some real-life prostitutes who will play themselves in the movie.

Pankh narrates a story about a little boy in the film industry who masquerades as a girl to become a child star but later faces an identity crisis and eventually turns into a drug abuser.

Original on India Target