International Journal of Applied Research
Vol. 6, Issue 3, Part F (2020)
Sex workers in COVID-19: Socio-economic insecurity, health responses and governmental restrictions
The COVID-19 pandemic is crucial global health calamity of the century presents greatest challenge to humankind. The COVID-19 pandemic, primarily a health crisis, is exposing existing inequalities of the social structure and governmental protection mechanism. Pandemic is intensifying stigma, discrimination, and repressive policing for vulnerable and marginalized sections. Sex workers throughout the world have been devastatingly hit by the protocols of the pandemic which make the sex trade difficult to practice. The pandemic represents the grim reality of sex workers in India and have been become the issue of debate in unusually high media reporting across the globe in relation to COVID-19 and related government lockdown, movement restrictions, treatment outcomes and reduced employment. This paper utilizes an analysis of media articles represents a lens through which sex workers are constructed, discourses are reinforced and knowledge is transferred throughout the globe. N =50 media articles and news have been examined and focused on India identified for the period 1st March to 31st October. This paper reflects on four core themes 1) Impact of COVID-19 on marginalized communities particularly on sex workers 2)prominent factors which affected sex workers daily lives in India such as economic and health care impacts, reduction in movements across borders and cities, hunger, homelessness and psychological issues; 3) increasing violence against sex workers particularly in lockdown and exclusion from government schemes; 4) highlight the localized responses from sex worker rights organization, support projects and NGO’s in absence of government safety nets. These media reports illuminated the crisis experienced by the sex workers during the initial period of lockdown; their fight for survival in hard period of lockdown and governmental measures to suppress the virus. The hard 5 months lockdown impact on the reduction of income, access to health care and medicines and challenges for housing will persist for some time with devasting effects on an already vulnerable and marginalized community. Sex workers face greater challenges in accessing health services or financial relief which increase their vulnerability to poor health outcomes and longer term negative economic impacts.
How to cite this article:
Dr. Bali Bahadur, Akwinder Kaur Aulakh. Sex workers in COVID-19: Socio-economic insecurity, health responses and governmental restrictions. Int J Appl Res 2020;6(3):395-400.