New Delhi: Concerned over the plight and condition of sex workers who indulge into the act of prostitution due to poverty or by force, the Supreme Court has directed for their rehabilitation giving them a chance to lead a dignified life.

The Apex Court, on Tuesday, directed Secretaries of Social Welfare Departments, both state and the Centre, to prepare a scheme along with a panel constituted by the SC for rehabilitation of around three lakh sex workers.

A bench comprising Justices Markandey Katju and Gyan Sudha Misra gave these directions while hearing the case of rehabilitation of sex workers.

Notably, the Apex Court had constituted a watchdog panel consisting of senior advocates and NGOs for rehabilitation of sex workers.

Expressing concern towards sex workers, the Supreme Court said, “We are fully conscious of the fact that simply by our orders, the sex workers will not be rehabilitated immediately.”

It will take a long time and citizens should be educated regarding this as only they can dig out a solution for this, the bench added.

The bench also appealed to the youths to contact the SC panel and contribute their services for the rehabilitation process.

The Supreme Court was also unsatisfied with the schemes by the state governments for the rehabilitation of sex workers.

Unsatisfied with suggestions from the state governments, the bench added, “We were expecting the state governments to come out with vocational training programmes for sex workers.”

The bench has asked the state governments and the panel to submit their suggestions on August 24.

It also cleared that the process will not be implemented forcefully and sex workers should be willing for the rehabilitation.

“Sex workers have all rights to lead a dignified life,” the court repeatedly said.