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काठमाडौंमा वायुको गुणस्तर: १४६

Who will protect sex workers?

Sex workers are not covered by state-mandated definitions of labor, but state-protected markets trade their sex for profit. The socio-cultural ground is that which takes the sexuality of those with a biological gender identity other than male as negative.
मीना पौडेल

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A few days ago, sex workers gathered in Kathmandu with many questions related to universality and existence, such as what is our place, what is our identity, what is justice for us? Coming from Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, they not only passed the march but also held theoretical debates related to sex work. advocated for the decriminalization of their labor. They took the opportunity of this regional level meeting through the World Social Forum.

Who will protect sex workers?

Those who are called the heads of the Nepal version of the platform should be included in the review of the project of the overall platform about how much these workers' issues have been raised. But sex workers have organized events to discuss their issues with their networks and members. He made his point clear in this coincidence. Challenged the policy makers. He warned the so-called human rights workers. The definition of overall human rights should include the fact that sex workers should be able to live as citizens. And, drew a clear blueprint for cooperation at the regional level and revised the strategy. In order to break the story, the issue of discrimination against sex workers should be at the center of human rights from a class point of view. Ironically, the human rights campaigns of South Asian countries have been conducted under the sponsorship of sukilamukila gasses for the past few decades. It is natural that the cases of sex workers who are socially-culturally marginalized, economically deprived and humiliated and rejected by the state agencies should not be included. That is why the sex workers of all gender identities gathered in Kathmandu were saying that we should not only tell the policy makers, but also the human rights activists. With the exception of

, except for a few rights activists, the agenda of Nepal's rights activists does not include not only sex workers but also the issues of marginalized people in the society. Even Pariha said as a periodic project. The context of the slogans that sound common sense is different. That is why it is important to include sex work within the broader labor and human rights framework. If not, the state should have said that Nepali society is sexless and the market earns profit without sex workers. Not only in modern extreme consumerist society, but also in ancient society, sex labor was used and managed according to the nature of the market, not only in historical and sociological records, but also in religious and legendary records of Rajarajauta. Be it the complex labor markets of big cities, or small semi-urban streets. After all, the market is the market, where all kinds of labor, including physical and intellectual, are bought and sold. Sex work is one part of that market. The dispute is only to accept or not to accept.

Many aspects including security and legal protection, social thinking, economic acquisition and cultural thinking were raised in the discussion held in Kathmandu. They are struggling to make a living in a gender-differentiated neoliberal labor market. Our family structure, shrouded in violence, is affected by our marital relationships, which are strained to support unbalanced power structures. And while trying for an environment to live a single life, he has to face the situation of being isolated from the society even more. This is the lived experience of sex workers. If it was not difficult to understand when discussing the demands set to address many of these problems, the above questions raised by him are as serious as they are economically and legally, but also more complex socio-culturally and politically.

We don't have a study on how much the sex services bought and sold within the framework of the democratic political system and liberal economic policies are supporting the domestic economy of that market. According to a British study a few years ago, about 60 percent of the sex workers available for research were women, while 40 percent were men. Data on other gender identities were not disclosed, which is another challenge in research. Other studies have found that sex workers contribute about 0.6 percent of the UK economy. This percentage fluctuates, which is natural. Because sex work is such a field that is within the informal and more informally within the market? It is a service sector operated at the level.

Our neighbors in South Asia, India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka have also been sporadically studied. His essence is that sex workers have contributed to the economy but in return they have received only humiliation and harassment from the state and society. Which was also confirmed by the meeting in Kathmandu. This in itself is an unequal relationship between the workers and the state, which is determined on the socio-cultural level and legally documented and implemented according to the criteria of economic discrimination. Unequal relations in the sense that sex workers are not covered by the definition of labor set by the state or are not recognized by the state. But the state-protected market trades profitably in their sex.

The socio-cultural ground is that which takes the sexuality of those with a gender identity other than biologically male as negative. Moreover, it considers a woman's sexuality as a measure of her family and society's honor, and based on this principle, laws are set to control sexuality in order to protect her honor. The current datamukhi law, which was decided to address the problem of human trafficking in Nepal, can be taken as a vivid example of this. Laws that feminize human trafficking and sex work. As a result, the strategy of sex work adopted by an adult as a main or auxiliary option to address the situation of people who have suffered human rights violations in a heinous crime like trafficking and to earn a living, leads to social exclusion of both types on the ground of sexuality. When this happens, the labor performed by the sex workers and the sex clients who use their services are pushed to the level of buying and selling services hidden at the back of the informal service sector. It condones sexual violence, exploitation and rape of sex workers. Human trafficking is a heinous crime, which seriously violates the human rights of trafficked persons of any age, but sex work is a circumstantial contract between two adult service providers and consumers.

should be criminalized and addressed, not the individual, but the structural arrangements that create these two situations? After all, who are sex workers, who come from which section of society? Compared to other countries, only limited studies have been conducted in Nepal. According to the study, such sex workers are basically all socio-cultural communities, geographies and especially young internal migrants. The clients of these workers are said to be of all castes, religions, cultures, classes, professions/occupations, political beliefs and ages. Studies in other societies around the world have confirmed that sex workers are mostly women and sex buyers are mostly men. Although the number of male sex workers seems to be increasing recently, the number of wealthy female customers who buy sex also seems to be increasing.

People with different gender identities are also found in both sex workers and clients. So this is not a women's issue but a gender issue. Capitalism is a coercive dimension of a toxic market economy. It is part of the livelihood of those involved. And it is part of the political system that combines all these aspects. Therefore, sex work is not seen in a narrow way of thinking about sexuality. Don't ridicule, hate and insult a certain religion-culture defined moral standard that reeks of socio-cultural hypocrisy. Instead of social and legal ostracism, justice towards sex workers is done by including their labor within the scope of the 21st century open society and decriminalizing it. Rulers, leaders who control the labor market, human rights activists, mainstream feminists, civic leaders, insensitive media people who dare to publicize naked pictures of sex workers, and police administrations that crack down on sex workers should all understand that no political system and its labor market in the world is without sex workers. The only question is how many places have been decriminalized and guaranteed minimum social justice and how many places have been criminalized and exposed to violence.

The representatives of millions of sex workers from South Asia who gathered in Kathmandu openly argued about the theoretical aspect of sex work and the divided world feminism, sociological point of view and economic and political point of view. Criticized, expressed solidarity and presented strong arguments for the decriminalization of sex work. In South Asia, Nepal lags behind other neighbors in the public debate on sex worker identity and livelihood-focused rights. About two and a half decades ago, in a public debate, I received strong criticism from a self-proclaimed civic leader who said that sex workers are also human beings and that socio-cultural, gender, political and economic structural discrimination is to blame for sex workers.

Perhaps this article will also have that sexuality-oriented moral slur on me. Because the society we live in is based on double standards. That's why he defends sexual violence and the violent and takes advantage of the victims of violence. But in the last year, the fact that the sex worker's own network has become very organized, the criticism and sarcasm that comes with prejudice and double standards makes no sense. Because the relevance of the criticism made during the public debate on such issues, which are forced into the holes of social differences, is only when the criticisms are based on theoretical arguments.

Representatives of millions of sex workers in South Asia asked many questions to the state, society, human rights defenders, and civil leaders. Among them were - Are sex workers not citizens of this country, society, neighborhood and our families? If not, who are they? If so, the state has no responsibility towards them? Why is the morality of the state and society based on their economic base and living trust? Why these questions are meaningful is that no matter how much we exaggerate the equality, on the one hand, the society is bound by complex contradictions and the ancient tradition of purity, on the other hand, in the name of modernity, extreme consumerist character in the inner level of the society, the abuse of sex workers is the same. This excess is also from some customers who buy sex due to lack of social protection, but mostly from state agencies.

Therefore, sex workers are seeking protection and want to contribute to the economy not by going underground, but by being punished, with the guarantee of justice with basic labor rights. The legal protection they raise is not a big deal. Not criminalizing sex workers and clients who buy sex services is all that matters. Some feminists, human rightsists and other politicians have interpreted their demand as asking for a license to do sex business, which is a completely one-sided and wrong understanding. What the sex workers are looking for here is that the state should decriminalize their work, if there is any violence or exploitation, they should be protected like other citizens.

It seems that the regional network of sex workers is making a timely strategy of mutual cooperation, but seeing the form and complexity of exploitation caused by the increasing religious intolerance and the toxic labor market in the politics of South Asia, there is a concern that the gap of discrimination is getting deeper. Therefore, it is not a continuation of the criminalization of sexual labor by covering it with a shell of dignity, but it is the demand of today's time to decriminalize their labor and create an environment where they have access to justice.

प्रकाशित : फाल्गुन १८, २०८० ०८:०१
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