28 January 2009


Sex workers are isolated from society on the basis of their mode of living. It is often believed that sex workers should be educated about the need for protecting their own children as if they are not aware of it. But this is not the case. They are as much aware as any other mother about the care of their children. It is the double standard of the society, which makes it impossible for them. In fact many of the sex workers are on the street working to fend for their children and other family members.

In the past there have been many attempts to rehabilitate the children of sex workers by different organizations. But most of the times it will not give the expected result because when these children are admitted in other institutions, they will be discriminated by staff and inmates. Some sex workers do admit their children in boarding schools without revealing their identity. The result is the starting of a saga of hide and seek and a plethora of lies, which create so much tension for the mothers and the children.

Small babies and pre-school children are often looked after by beggars in the street, or by some former sex workers who are friends or by relatives. They will have to pay exorbitant amounts to make this happen and when the mothers are arrested and imprisoned, the children are left to the mercy of these caretakers. Actually the neglect of the children starts when the mothers are arrested and imprisoned for there is none to provide for their expense. The mothers, after their term in the prison, have to take the child away and find a new place. Repeated placements and displacements do affect the well being of children.

Usually, in the name of rehabilitation, the children of sex workers are removed and isolated from their mothers, which means the women losing the right over their children and the children losing the affection of their mothers. Then the stigma of being a child of sex worker hangs as a Damocles’ sword over their head for the rest of their lives. The stigma and hate is reinforced between the child and mother by the supposed rehabilitation by separation.

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