Non-government organisation HIV/AIDS Research and Welfare Centre (HARC) organised a dissemination meeting on the research findings on Sex workers' social protection, human rights and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) issues in Bangladesh on Saturday (17 June).
Held in the capital's Khilgaon, sex workers leaders, NGOs representatives and academia were present during the dissemination meeting, reads a press release.
Habibur Rahman, manager of the Asia Pacific Network of Sex Workers (APNSW) Bangkok presented the research findings.
The main objectives of this assessment were: to better understand policies, laws, legislation, and other barriers that affect access to social protection and SRHR services for sex workers, labour rights and the legal status of sex workers, the stigma and discrimination and how they affect access to social protection, the SRHR issues of sex workers and the barrier to access services, the gender-based violence against sex workers and responses to gender-based violence in the country.
According to the research findings, there is no social protection for sex workers. Although the research found that there are some social protections for the people of Bangladesh, but they exclude sex workers.
There is no national health insurance for any citizen of Bangladesh including sex workers. Sex workers are also unaware of anything regarding social protection.
Human rights violations against sex workers are very common. Violence, stigma, and discrimination against sex workers are also very common.
The health system is poor and there are no comprehensive Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) services for sex workers. HIV programs do not include SRHR services, the findings say.
The meeting concluded with a collective commitment from organisations to collaborate and enhance the quality of life for sex workers in Bangladesh.