Rehabilitation of Sex Workers

A SHAKTI VAHINI RESEARCH INITIATIVE

The Central Government is implementing ‘Ujjawala’, a comprehensive Scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation since 4th December, 2007. The Minister of State (I/C) for Women & Child Development Smt. Krishna Tirath stated in Lok Sabha today that the Scheme is envisaged for women and children who are vulnerable to trafficking and those who are victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation. However, sex workers who are voluntarily in the trade and wish to be rehabilitated, can also avail of rehabilitation services provided under the Ujjawala Scheme.

The Minister informed the House that under the Scheme, 76 Protective and Rehabilitative Homes have been sanctioned, in the country, which can accommodate upto 3800 beneficiaries. These Rehabilitative Homes are given financial support for providing the inmates basic amenities such as food, clothing and shelter, medical care, legal aid, education in case the victims are children as well as for undertaking vocational training and income generation activities to provide the victims with alternate livelihood option.

Smt. Tirath said that a comprehensive study on ‘Girls and Women in Prostitution’, conducted in 2004, which was sponsored by the Ministry of Women and Child Development, had estimated that there were about 2.8 million prostitutes in the country of which 36% are children. The State/Union Territory wise data on number of girls/women in prostitution, as estimated by the Study, is given in Annex.

It is to be noted here that the Hon’ble Supreme Court vide its order dated 14.2.2011 had asked the State and Central Governments to prepare schemes for rehabilitation of sex workers in all cities in India by giving them technical/vocational training. Subsequently, vide order dated 19.7.2011, the Hon’ble Court has a Panel which will make suitable suggestions to the Court on different aspects including rehabilitation of sex workers who wish to leave sex work. The Court has asked the Panel to first take up the problems of sex workers in the 4 metropolitan cities i.e. Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai and Chennai. The Panel has met three times to discuss the issues before it.

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