International Sex Workers’ Day: History, Theme, and Significance

Saurav Singh

International Sex Workers’ Day is commemorated annually on the 2nd of June worldwide. This day serves as a significant occasion to shed light on the widespread exploitation, deplorable working conditions, and difficult circumstances endured by sex workers. Its purpose is to raise awareness about the rights of sex workers and combat the stigma and discrimination they face. Since 1976, this day has been dedicated to honoring and showing respect for this marginalized and vulnerable segment of society.

International Sex Workers’ Day 2023: Theme

The theme for International Sex Workers’ Day 2023 is “Access to Justice.” This theme remains constant every year, aiming to rally collective efforts in advocating for the rights and justice of all sex workers.

International Sex Workers’ Day: History

On June 2, 1975, around 100 sex workers gathered at Saint-Nizier Church in Lyon, France, to express their frustration and anger towards the criminalized and exploitative conditions they were forced to endure.

In order to convey their message, they unfurled a banner from the steeple with the words, “Our children don’t want their mothers to go to jail.” They demanded an end to police harassment, the reopening of hotels for their work, and a thorough investigation into the murders of sex workers. Additionally, they initiated a media campaign to vocalize their grievances.

International Sex Workers’ Day 2023: Significance

International Sex Workers’ Day holds immense significance as it provides an opportunity to promote social justice, challenge stereotypes and prejudices, and safeguard the human rights of sex workers worldwide. The objective is to ensure their safety, and well-being, and to eradicate the discrimination, exploitation, and poverty that pervade their daily lives.

The circumstances that lead sex workers to engage in their profession, driven by the necessity for shelter and sustenance, often go unnoticed. It is essential that we rescue them from exploitation and elevate their standing in society. When encountering a sex worker in public, let us not avert our gaze; they deserve equality and the freedom to travel unrestricted.

The individuals who accompany sex workers are members of our own society. Exploitation should not be limited to sex workers alone; every individual deserves to be treated with dignity. Prostitutes work for compensation, not mistreatment and exploitation. They do not seek favors; instead, they demand an end to exploitation. No human being deserves mistreatment or exploitation. International Sex Workers’ Day is an opportunity to voice our opposition to the exploitation of sex workers.