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International Sex Workers Day 2024, Why it is Celebrated?

International Sex Workers’ Day, also referred to as International Whores’ Day, is an annual observance held on 2nd June. This day is dedicated to raising awareness about the exploitative working conditions faced by sex workers globally and advocating for their rights.

The practice of prostitution has been prevalent for centuries, serving as a means of livelihood for many individuals engaged in sex work. Recent studies shed light on the multitude of factors that drive people, particularly women, towards this profession, including poverty, lack of access to education, limited employment opportunities for those without formal skills, and the erosion of societal values.

A significant portion of sex workers hails from marginalized communities, such as Dalits and indigenous tribes, transcending religious boundaries. According to the latest data, India alone is estimated to have around 3 million sex workers, ranging in age from 15 to 35 years old, primarily due to the emphasis placed on physical appearance and the endurance required to cater to multiple clients.

On a global scale, the number of sex workers is staggering, ranging from 40 to 42 million individuals, with an overwhelming majority, approximately 80 percent, being females between the ages of 13 and 25.

International Sex Workers Day 2024: Theme

The official theme for International Sex Workers Day 2024 has not yet been revealed by the National Network of Sex Work Projects (NSWP) or other prominent organizations in the sex worker rights movement. The NSWP and other groups are expected to announce the theme in early 2024. Regardless of the theme, International Sex Workers Day 2024 presents a vital opportunity to increase awareness, push for reforms, and honor the resilience and strength of the sex worker community.

Important Day in June 2024: List of National & International Days

International Sex Workers Day 2024: History

The origins of International Sex Workers’ Day can be traced back to the 1970s in France, where prostitution was legal, but activities surrounding it, such as pimping, operating brothels, or engaging in commercial sex with minors, were criminalized. Sex workers lacked legal protections, and law enforcement often forced them to operate in secrecy, contributing to an escalation of violence against them. The government, at the time, took no significant measures to improve their circumstances.

The catalyst for organized protest emerged after the tragic murders of two sex workers. In response, a group of sex workers in the city of Lyon initiated a strike on June 2, 1975. Their primary objective was to draw public attention to the inhumane working conditions they endured and to combat the pervasive stigma surrounding their profession.

Although the strike lasted only eight days, it marked a pivotal moment in the international sex workers’ rights movement. The first International Sex Workers Day was commemorated on June 2, 1976, to honor the first anniversary of this groundbreaking protest, which ignited a broader movement for the recognition and protection of sex workers’ rights.

International Sex Workers Day 2024: Significance

Sex workers around the globe continue to grapple with numerous challenges. They lack proper access to justice and are often deprived of the respect and dignity afforded to others. Due to the criminalization of sex work, most individuals engaged in this profession are denied access to the benefits and rights guaranteed to other workers under labor laws. Consequently, International Sex Workers Day holds profound significance in the lives of sex workers, serving as a platform to advocate for their equal treatment and recognition as valuable members of the workforce.

This annual observance compels us to critically examine the situations faced by sex workers and to treat them with the respect they deserve. The primary focus should be on government initiatives to ensure that sex workers are granted their fundamental rights and have access to justice.

Research indicates that the complete eradication of prostitution is not a feasible goal. However, concerted efforts by governments and other stakeholders can contribute to reducing the prevalence of this practice. By addressing the underlying socioeconomic factors that drive individuals into sex work, such as poverty, lack of education, and limited employment opportunities, and by implementing comprehensive support programs, the overall demand for and reliance on sex work can be mitigated.

Ultimately, International Sex Workers Day serves as a poignant reminder of the urgent need to acknowledge the humanity and inherent dignity of sex workers, and to champion their rights, safety, and overall well-being.

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Important Days in March 2024, National and International Dates_70.1


When do we celebrate International Sex Workers Day?

International Sex Workers Day is celebrated on 2nd June every year.

What is the history of Internationa Sex Workers Day 2024?

Students can read the above article to know about the history of International Sex Workers Day 2024.