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Leading from the south, Sangram

  1. 1. SCOPE OF THE 1. June 2017 – October 2019 with SANGRAM as Lead Partner 2. Consortium Members a) 14 collectives/ state networks/ federations (supported by 8 NGOs) a) Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkutta (5 partners) through Sangama b) Karnataka Sex Workers Union, through Sangama c) Vadamalar Federation (Tamil Nadu – 9 partners), through SIAAP d) Me and My World Network (Andhra – 8 partners), through WINS e) Me and My World Network (Telengana – 7 partners), through WINS f) Kerala Network of Sex Workers (8 partners) through Sangram a) Ganika (Nagpur), through Sangram b) MJSS (Parbhani), through Adhar Sanstha c) Samvedna (Bhuj), through KMVS d) Stree Sanghatan (Chota Udepur), through Vikalp e) Hardasi Sangh, Amalner through Adhar Bahuudeshiya f) VAMP Sangli through Sangram g) Saheli Sangh, Pune (direct funding) h) Jwala Shakti Samuh through Srijan Foundation b) Reaches approximately 50,000 sex workers directly/ indirectly c) 8 states of India d) 11 partners funded through sub grants, 3 partners administered by Sangram CONSORTIUM GRANT New partner New partner New partner New partner
  2. 2. Background A. Invisibilisation of Distress migration within India and across the region • Continued emphasis conflating migration/ trafficking/forced sex work thus focus on stopping migration rather than creating safer channels of migration and viable solutions to trafficking B. Changing forms of labour and exploitative practices by State and non State actors • related to working hours/ delayed payments/ low wages /criminalization of work C. Prioritisation of criminalisation over welfare • Denial of recognition of rights as workers rather as victims in need of rescue for rehabilitation and repatriation. D. Discourse on nationalism and shrinking space and voices for populations on the margins • Suppression of dissent, freedom of speech, expression in the garb of clamping down on trafficking (pornography, adult content) India and the Region reeling under global & regional shifts in policy frameworks
  3. 3. •Expansion from 42 to 61 districts; 8 states. •Over 1,50,000 members • Only network to have female, trans and male sex workers • Representation on NNSW board of these categories of sex workers •National Presence – Coordinators in capital •Registration process of the network completed to 75%. •New 11 member board taken charge (2 May 2019)
  5. 5. Leadership Strengthening, Internal Discourse around rights Articulation of Rights in a collective manner Other movement engagement APPROACH Develop Community led initiatives Let the Group reach readiness Establish and strengthen collective response
  6. 6. Emphasis on regular meetings at the State and Collective level Building second line leadership NNSW board meetings, AGM Training on laws, policies, research, dispute redress, Setting up dispute redress mechanisms Increased membership – Collectives, State networks, National Network Increased self esteem, understanding of sex work as work Demand for decriminalization emerging from the ground Emergence of the sex worker rights movement in India, S Asia Emergence of sex workers as Para Legal Volunteers District legal services authorities – intervening in legal cases Sex workers intervening with police/ courts to release women from police custody, rescue homes
  7. 7. Community led research “Raided” – impact of anti trafficking strategies on sex workers (4 states – collectives – tracking sex workers who have been raided) 63 news articles at the national level since March 2018 Rescue home study (Andhra Pradesh) – next generation of community research Helped to shape the discourse on criminalisation of sex work; Shifted the public perception on trafficking Strengthened community voice against raid and rescue model and its effects on all communities
  8. 8. Coalition for an Inclusive approach on the Trafficking Bill formed in India – comprising garment workers unions, trade unions, internet freedom, surrogacy activists, women’s health, child rights groups, LGBTQUI groups 200 stakeholders across 8 states sign Coalition Statement Interactions, awareness building around the Trafficking Bill 2018 with different groups (lawyers, activists, trade unions, child rights activists, health professionals, bonded labor activists, university professors,) 8 national meetings – Hyderabad, Pune, Bangalore, Ranchi, Mumbai, Delhi, Lucknow, Chennai Training workshops for sex workers on laws (difference between sex work and trafficking) and draft bill Bill translated in 7 languages for sex workers Recommendations collated from sex workers and presented to different stakeholders Breaking silence/ widening discourse Shift in perception around trafficking bill – groups whose rights would be impacted began to speak out Transgender people Surrogacy activists Freedom of Expression Trade Union/ Labor groups Bonded labor activists 4000 sex workers across India sign demand for reconsidering trafficking bill, decriminalizing work Signed by stakeholders across India Sex workers make submissions to Members of Parliament Media writes about demands of sex workers (72) Minister forced on defensive – states in Parliament that Bill not for consenting sex workers Bill lapses in Upper House