Supreme Court directed all States and UT’s to issue ration cards to sex workers

Tags: National News

  • The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed States and Union Territories to immediately start the process of issuing voter ID cards, Aadhaar and ration cards to sex workers across the country.
  • The Supreme Court observed that every person is guaranteed their fundamental rights irrespective of vocation (type of work or a way of life of an individual). Depriving any individual of availing the same is an abridgment of their fundamental rights guaranteed by the Indian Constitution.
  • The court directed that authorities can take assistance from the National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO) and State AIDS control societies, which would, in turn, prepare a list of sex workers after verifying the information provided to them by community-based organizations.

The National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO)

  • NACO established in 1992 is a division of India's Ministry of Health and Family Welfare that provides leadership to HIV/AIDS control programs in India through 35 HIV/AIDS Prevention and Control Societies, and is "the nodal organization for the formulation of policy and implementation of programs for prevention and control of HIV/AIDS in India."
  • Along with drug control authorities, NACO also provides joint surveillance of Blood Bank licensing, Blood Donation activities, and Transfusion Transmitted infection testing and reporting.
  • NACO also undertakes HIV estimations biennially (every 2 years) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) – National Institute of Medical Statistics (NIMS). 
  • The first round of HIV estimation in India was done in 1998, while the last round was done in 2017.

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