US representative to UN, envoy to India meet sex workers

New Delhi, Nov 19 (IANS) The US’ Permanent Representative to the UN, Samantha Power and US envoy to India Rahul Richard Verma on Thursday met the sex workers at GB Road — the famous red light area of the city.

During the visit, the duo were accompanied by Delhi Commission for Women (DCW) chief Swati Maliwal. They visited brothels in the area and interacted with the sex workers to understand their problems.

“She (Samantha Power) was quite horrified and shocked to see that women were being trafficked here again and again from across the country. They wanted to get the ground reality of what is happening at GB Road,” Maliwal told reporters after the visit.

Power is on a visit to India to discuss UN Peacekeeping and the US-India strategic partnership.

Verma and Power had approached the DCW chairperson to accompany them on the visit and explain to them the ground realities of the red light area. A representative from NGO Shakti Vahini, Rishikant — who works for the betterment of the sex workers — facilitated the visit.

Maliwal said that the delegation saw the sex workers were living under unhygienic and poor conditions and also found that many of them were forced into the flesh trade.

Maliwal said, “We had been working against women trafficking. We recovered two girls yesterday who were brought here for flesh trade. We will keep making effort for the rehabilitation and betterment of the sex workers.”

During the visit, the workers also raised issues of continuous harassment by the local police and inhuman conditions of the brothels.

We have sought cooperation and support of both the ambassadors and the American Chamber of Commerce for the rehabilitation project for sex workers, Maliwal added.

 

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