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“We have the right not to be ‘rescued’...”*: When Anti-Trafficking Programmes Undermine the Health and Well-Being of Sex Workers

  • Aziza Ahmed
  • Meena Seshu

Abstract

This paper highlights the impact of raid, rescue, and rehabilitation schemes on HIV programmes. It uses a case study of Veshya Anyay Mukti Parishad (VAMP), a sex workers collective in Sangli, India, to explore the impact of anti-trafficking efforts on HIV prevention programmes. The paper begins with an overview of the anti-trafficking movement emerging out of the United States. This U.S. based anti- trafficking movement works in partnership with domestic Indian anti- trafficking organisations to raid brothels to “rescue and rehabilitate” sex workers. Contrary to the purported goal of assisting women, the anti-trafficking projects that employ a raid, rescue, and rehabilitate model often undermine HIV projects at the local level, in turn causing harm to women and girls. We examine the experience of one peer educator in Sangli to demonstrate and highlight some of the negative consequences of these anti-trafficking efforts on HIV prevention programmes.

Author Biographies

Aziza Ahmed
Aziza Ahmed is Assistant Professor of Law at Northeastern University School of Law.
Meena Seshu
Meena Seshu is co-founder of Sampada Gramin Mahila Sanstha (SANGRAM).
Published
2012-06-01
How to Cite
AHMED, Aziza; SESHU, Meena. “We have the right not to be ‘rescued’...”*: When Anti-Trafficking Programmes Undermine the Health and Well-Being of Sex Workers. Anti-Trafficking Review, [S.l.], n. 1, june 2012. ISSN 2287-0113. Available at: <http://www.antitraffickingreview.org/index.php/atrjournal/article/view/28>. Date accessed: 22 nov. 2017. doi: https://doi.org/10.14197/atr.201219.

Keywords

HIV/AIDS, sex work, trafficking, prostitution, health, India, anti-trafficking