Formed in 2006, Jagriti Mahila Maha Sangh (JMMS) is a national peer-led network of women working in the sex industry in Nepal. It comprises of 33 community-based women sex worker-led organisations in 25 districts.
JMMS’ main focus is on sex workers’ rights, occupational safety and rights, violence, HIV-AIDS prevention and sexual and reproductive health rights issues.
In recent years, JMMS has been advocating for the recognition of sex work as occupation and the decriminalisation of sex work.
JMMS and its members face various types of backlash, including threats and violence. They experience immense stigmatisation and vilification from the state, community and civil society because of their identity as sex workers. Additionally, the state of Nepal does not recognise sex work as an occupation. While there are no direct laws criminalising sex work, the laws on sex trafficking are often used to target and persecute consensual sex work. As a result, members of the network remain in constant threat of arrests or are arrested by the police in the course of their work.