New Delhi: Decriminalising sex work and inclusion of sex workers under unorganised labour are some of the demands that would be raised at the 19th International AIDS Conference in Kolkata later this month which will see participants from 27 countries.
The event, which is being held in India for the first time, will be digitally linked to the main conference sessions in the United States from July 22 to 27 as sex workers are not allowed entry in the country.
"Sex workers have an important role to play in community response to HIV and we will make our voices hear loud and clear from Kolkata. Idea is to ensure that issues related to intravenous drug users (IDU) and Men having sex with Men (MSM) can be debated," Andrew Hunter of Asian Network of Sex Workers told a press conference.
More than 900 participants representing 27 countries along with nearly 300 community-based organisations from across the globe will participate in the conference.
Lakshmi, Programme Director of Ashodya Samithi, said "Major issues like freedom to sex workers and allowing them to move free and inclusion of their representatives in policy making bodies in government and other institutions will be debated."
In 2011, Supreme Court formed a commission to look into the rehabilitation of the sex workers, the activists said.


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