Supreme Court order on sex workers’ rights – what it means


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On May 19, the Supreme Court passed an order observing that sex workers have the right to live with dignity under Article 21 of the Constitution. They came up with several directives to ensure that sex workers who are in the profession by choice can live a life of dignity.

In this episode of The Suno India Show, host Suryatapa Mukherjee spoke to Meena Saraswathi Seshu to find out what these directives mean and how they will impact the lives of sex workers on the ground. Seshu is the founder of Sangram, a Sangli-based organisation that works for the rights of sex workers. She also runs a collective of more than 5000 sex workers in Maharashtra and north Karnataka called VAMP or Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad.

Additional reading:

Supreme Court May 19 Order on Sex Workers
Budhadev Karmaskar vs State Of West Bengal on 14 February, 2011
RAIDED (E-Book)| Latest News, Events of SANGRAM.
Sex Workers In India – Life In A “Gutter”| Countercurrents

See for privacy information.


1. What is Supreme Court’s order (00:02:31)

2. How ‘Protective Homes’ harm sex workers (00:10:12)

3. How police handle sexual assault complaints (00:16:19)

4. Aadhar card for sex workers (00:19:50)

5. How media hurts sex workers (00:22:33)

6. Earlier government action (00:25:16)

7. Other issues the court will look into (00:28:01)

8. Children of sex workers (00:32:40)

9. Conclusion (00:35:31)

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