IMPHAL, June 14: The Survivors’ Action for Human Rights and Self Support Group have jointly organized a one day women convention programme under the theme “Right to Live with dignity” at the Youth Hostel, Khuman Lampak.
The programme was attended by commercial sex workers of North AOC and Paona Bazar who are living with HIV/AIDS.
Speaking at the programme, Survivors’ Action for Human Rights convenor, Lucy Zou said the NGO was formed in 2008 considering the plight of several woman drug users and commercial sex workers of the state against the atrocities of the state police, including forced sex committed upon them.
She continued before participants that the NGO had earlier submitted a seven point memorandum to the state Governor, Chief Minister, Social Welfare Minister and DGP to look into the plights of the commercial sex workers and the woman drug users.
She further lamented that even after the submission of the memorandum; the government is yet to act out for their betterment.
The Survivors’ Action for Human Rights will be submitting a five point memorandum to the state government.
The memorandum will include demands for a State Drug Policy; special scheme/programme for rehabilitation of the female sex workers; and setting up of free drug detoxification and rehabilitation centre by the government for treatment of those who could not afford fees and other things.
Other demands included are necessary arrangement for providing vocational training exclusively for the people living with HIV/AIDS and affected by the drugs and to discuss and pass the revised draft Manipur State AIDS policy, 2010 in the coming monsoon session of Manipur State Assembly.
She continued that women’s empowerment has attracted immense attention in recent years throughout the world.
Emphasizing a little longer on the issue, she added so much has been heard and so much has been done to uplift women socially, politically, economically and culturally all over the world.
“Realising the growing significance of empowering women, many measures and policies have been formulated and adopted at different level by the UN, government, NGOs and individuals in almost every country”.
She however continued that the issues of sex workers have been kept aside and even their rights and dignity are aerated particularly in this part of the world.
She said among various reasons, the conflict situation is one major reason for the rise in commercial sex workers in Manipur.
Drug abuse has become common in the state, she said.
“Economic necessity, social unrest, commercial hatred, irresponsible male behaviour, dearth of earning avenues, increasing immorality among both the male and female folks, lack of recreational room in society, absence of work culture among the males are the main factors of a burgeoning commercial sex workers in the state”, she said.
Continuing on the plights of the SCWs, she said, “Most of them are willing to give up their profession in order to mainstream themselves into society, however the absence of a single policy making agency, they are unable to do so”.