International Sex Workers Day, also known as International Whores Day, is annually observed across the globe on 2nd June to honour the sex workers who are the victims of cruelty and violence and acknowledge them as valuable contributors to society.
- The day also provides a platform to recognise the exploited working conditions of these sex workers.
Every year, International Sex Workers’ Day is commemorated by NSWP (Global Network of Sex Work Projects) with focus on the theme “Access to Justice”
i.On 2 June 1975, more than 100 sex workers occupied the Saint Nizier Church in Lyon, France and protested against sex work and expressed their anger about their exploitative living conditions.
- They also launched a media campaign to express their grievances to the world.
ii.Since 1975, the 2nd June of every year is commemorated as International Sex Workers Day.
Rights of Sex Workers:
i.Sex workers are entitled to equal protection of the law and criminal law must apply equally in all cases
ii.The Consensus Statement of NSWP highlights 8 fundamental rights for sex worker-led groups across the globe. These were identified as crucial targets for their activism and advocacy.
The 8 rights are,
- Right to associate and organise;
- Right to be protected by the law;
- Right to be free from violence;
- Right to be free from discrimination;
- Right to privacy, and freedom from arbitrary interference;
- Right to health;
- Right to move and migrate;
- Right to work and free choice of employment
Other Related Observances:
- International Sex Workers’ Rights Day is observed on 3rd March to raise awareness of the rights of sex workers and to combat stigma and discrimination.
- Sex Worker Pride observed on 14th September calls for attention to sex workers’ labour rights, access to justice and violence against sex workers.
- International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers observed on 17th December calls for attention to hate crimes committed against sex workers all over the world.