NNSW Members Commemorate the International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers 2021

On the 17th of December 2021, NNSW commemorated International Day to End Violence Against Sex Workers both offline in small groups and online through a campaign.

A couple of weeks before the day, board and core group members came together to create an action plan for social media to see what we would like to cover this year as a main theme. While we thought of talking about the larger aspects of special violence faced by sex workers, especially during a pandemic, we thought of focusing specifically on violence by state actors. The idea was spoken about specifically because of the increased number of raid operations around the country that has adversely affected workers, their families and livelihoods. Calling for a safer place to work in, and continue the Targeted Interventions for HIV/AIDS prevention that they have been directed to do from the State, sex workers ask for more accountability on the side of the state actors-both policy and on ground.

For social media, we made a series of posters to talk about the state of violence against sex workers in a colour scheme, and then collected personal narratives from members across states about state actor violence in another colour scheme so that they can be differentiated and identified as member narratives. The posters were shared on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter along with information and reports on where readers can know more.

The posters and content accompanying them were met with a lot of support as allies across the world shared each other’s work on the day. On Instagram specifically, there has been a notable growth in following and engaging with our work through the posters and recent content, based on which we also received a couple of invitations from student groups to do campaigns with them to talk about our work.

Members from Andhra Pradesh spoke to a couple of media organisations about the day (news clippings attached). In Maharahstra, Tejaswi Sevekari, a supporter from NNSW and the Excecutive Director of Saheli Sangh, Budhwar Peth Pune spoke to ETV Bharat about the violence sex workers face. The entire interview can be found here. All member organisations conducted meetings, candlelight remembrances and private events to remember the family and friends we have lost to violence over the past many years and months.

Entire Campaign on Social Media:

Twitter thread on Violence

Twitter thread on State Actor violence and narratives by members

Posters used to talk about violence that sex workers face and some solutions to ongoing stigma
Narratives from members talking about the violence they face, especially from state actors

News Clippings:

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National Network of Sex Workers India

NNSW is a national network of sex worker-led organisations and allies committed to promoting the rights of sex workers in India.