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Monday, 24 July, 2000, 14:46 GMT 15:46 UK
Sex workers fight for their rights
View of Dhaka
Many of the women are living on Dhaka's streets
By Moazzem Hossain in Dhaka

Bangladeshi sex workers have been protesting in Dhaka on the anniversary of their eviction from two brothels a year ago.

Human rights organisations say the government has failed to rehabilitate these women as it had promised.

Many of them are now said to be living on the streets in extremely inhuman conditions.

Following the eviction of more than 4,000 sex workers from two brothels last year the government promised that they would be rehabilitated through the government-run social welfare department.

But a study report published on Monday revealed that government had failed to keep its promise.

Forced out

Dr Syed Jahangir Haider, who conducted the study, told the BBC that most of the sex workers were now living on the streets.

Those who were sheltered in government run homes were subjected to rape and torture by officials, he said.

In a landmark judgement early this year, the high court ruled that the eviction of sex workers was unlawful and they had the right to make a living in this trade.

Following the judgement, human rights groups in Dhaka had said the government was morally obliged to rehabilitate them.

Most of the evicted sex workers who gathered in Dhaka on Monday said they wanted to remain in the trade because they could not find any alternative.

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See also:

30 Mar 00 | South Asia
Dhaka sex workers celebration
14 Mar 00 | South Asia
Bangladesh says prostitution legal
13 Jul 99 | South Asia
Bangladesh prostitutes up in arms
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