Sex workers' abuse during raids a concern in Pune



Pune: Dealing with violation of human rights during police raids on brothels has become a major challenge for various women's organisations engaged with a booming population of sex workers in the city.

Harassment of sex workers and their physical abuse during the raids and inadequate infrastructure to protect minors rescued from the red light area has become a cause of concern for the activists trying to ensure a dignified living and rehabilitation of the inmates, said Tejaswini Sevekari, Director of 'Saheli', an organisation which has nine sex workers as its trustees.

"Safeguarding the human rights of sex workers is the task we are addressing following an increasing number of complaints from them about harassment and undignified treatment at the hand of police," she said.

"The security provided at designated shelter homes to keep the minor sex workers during their 21-day magisterial custody period has posed a question mark as many girls have been missing from these places."

"Sex workers are often humiliated, beaten up and verbally abused during the raids which is a gross violation of their human rights," Sevekari noted.

The city, housing an estimated 5,000 sex workers who hail mainly from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Nepal and Bangladesh, have witnessed many raids recently.

"Trafficking from Bangladesh has gone up during the last four years," she added.

PTI