Global conference of sex workers to be organized in Kolkata
Amidst US imposing travel restrictions on overseas sex workers to attend the International AIDS Conference in Washington from Sunday, a week-long meet is organized in Kolkata to enable them to participate in the event through video-conferencing.
The International AIDS Conference (IAC) is a bi-annual congregation of global organizations and agencies working for putting an effective control on the epidemic of AIDS. This year, the conference is being held on July 22-27.
The event is being held for the past 25 years in the US. The IAC offers a unique platform for three-way dialogue between the scientists/planners, the people living with HIV, and the communities most at risk, such as sex workers.
Keeping in view the US travel restrictions, the organizers have decided to hold the first-ever Global Hub of the International AIDS Conference at the Swabhumi here. This event will be attended by 550 representatives of sex workers from India and the world.
Labeled as the sex workers' Freedom Festival, its central theme will be the "seven freedoms" that sex workers are entitled to - freedom of movement and to migrate; access to quality health services; freedom to work and choose occupation; associate and unionise; to be protected by the law; freedom from abuse and violence; and from stigma and discrimination.
"With the US now leading the fight for Lesbian, Gay and Transgender equality, we are extremely disappointed that they refuse to revise their restrictions on sex workers and refuse to recognize that we are human beings with basic rights," Andrew Hunter, president, Global Network of Sex Work Project (NSWP) has been quoted as saying..
The conference organized in Kolkata will act as a platform for the sharing of experiences and evaluation, and dialogue over issues and priorities. The event also focusses to generate new directions and dimensions needed for regional and global AIDS control programs.
--With inputs from IANS
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