Sex Workers Network General Secretary Chumki Begum has said that sex workers in Bangladesh are not receiving proper rehabilitation.
After the 2009 eviction of the Tanbazar brothel in Narayanganj, the workers were promised resocialisation. “However, the administration married off the sex workers to elder men from the area and provided them with sewing machines to help them embark on a different career path,” Chumki said
Due to the lack proper rehabilitation, the former sex workers became streetwalkers.
While attending a views exchange meeting on Thursday on developing the human rights conditions of the sex workers at Dhaka Reporters Unity, Chumki demanded a long-term rehabilitation system rather than temporary solutions.
Sex workers present at the meeting demanded the right to live like all other citizens of Bangladesh.
Vice-President of SWN Ivan Ahmed Kotha said: “No one wants to join this profession willingly. Sometimes women are forced to choose this profession because of lack of alternatives, but people use religious agendas to force the local government to shut down the brothels, forcing the sex workers to leave.”
They said they could not file police cases if they wanted any legal action as the police often threaten them with social exposure.
They even find it hard to receive treatment from doctors, as the doctors too tend to neglect them due to their professional identity.