International Sex Workers’ Rights Day 2022
3rd March is International Sex Workers’ Rights Day. This day’s history goes back to 2001, when over 25,000 sex workers of India gathered in Kolkata for a sex worker festival organised by Durbar Mahila Samanwaya Committee, despite efforts from prohibitionist groups who tried to prevent it taking place by pressuring the government to revoke their…
Researchers at Harvard Medical School and Yale School of Public Health: stop scapegoating sex workers for the spread of COVID-19 in India!
In May 2020, a controversial study entitled ‘Modelling the Effect of Continued Closure of Red-Light Areas on COVID-19 Transmission in India’ was released without being peer-reviewed, and quickly went viral on Indian media outlets. It recommends that shutting down red-light areas in Mumbai, New Delhi, Nagpur, Kolkata, and Pune during and beyond the lockdown can…
Closing red-light areas to contain COVID-19: a misguided fantasy of containment
In the effort to contain COVID-19, “red light areas” are in danger of becoming a fantasy backdrop for the state to perform grand, empty gestures of “pandemic control.” This distracts from the fact that persons doing sex work in India, whether in brothels, homes, streets, lodges, or construction sites, belong to the vast population of…