Karnataka Sex Workers Union is a trade union of sex workers
(incl. women, men & transgender people) in Karnataka

Karnataka Sex Workers Union, Uttara Karnataka Mahila Okkoota, National Network of Sex Workers (NNSW) strongly condemn the statement of the Women and Child Development Minister of Karnataka, Ms. Jayamala where she is reported to have instructed the Women and Child Development department officials to call sex workers “Oppressed Women”. We are sex workers, do not rob us of our identity! We demand that she withdraw her statement and decriminalise sex work!

Press release with list of endorsements   [Kannada]  [English]

[updated on July 2, 2018]

News & Updates

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  • Poetry Workshop

    Posted 30 Jul 2017

    A day-long poetry workshop was organised by Sangama and KSWU. Read more


Access to Healthcare

Access to quality healthcare is vital because our exposure to STD, HIV/AIDS through sexwork is a daily worry for us.

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Children of Sex Workers

We want our children to be educated, employed and lead lives that are free from the exploitation, stigma and abuse that mark our lives.

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For many of us, sex work is a means of livelihood and offers a better deal compared with being unskilled labourers in another exploitative industry. Why criminalise it?

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Legal Issues

In India, exchanging sex for money is legal as long as it is done privately and voluntarily. But sex workers are not protected under labour laws.

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Human Rights

We demand a right to work safely. We demand a right to earn an income in a profession of our choice. Do not raid us. Do not rescue us. Leave us alone, to work, earn our livelihoods and live with dignity.

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This is a huge occupational hazard for us and also for vulnerable children from disaster hit areas or from poor families who are believe they are sending their children to a better future.

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Critique of the Study Undertaken by the Government-Appointed Committee on the Issue of Sex Workers

As Human Beings and as Workers: Sex Worker Unionization in KA, India

Global Labour Journal, 2015

Our Stories

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Geeta, from Karnataka Sex Workers' Union in Bangalore died in 2012. She died because of substandard care for people with HIV. Geeta was the first and most outspoken HIV+ sex worker in India. It was she who gave a face to HIV+ sex workers, there issues and their struggles.
In this interview filmed in Bangkok in 2009 Geeta discusses discrimination, labour rights and donors obsession in meeting prevention targets while ignoring the needs of sex workers with HIV.

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Contact Us

Postal Address:
No. 05, 4th Cross, Off Bhoopasandra Main Rd,
Teachers Colony, R.M.V. 2nd Stage,
Bengaluru, Karnataka, 560094