Sex workers have the right to lead a decent and dignified life, said Karnataka High Court judge Justice N. Kumar.

The judiciary, executive, police and media should support the efforts of destitute women to settle down, he said, while delivering the inaugural address at a workshop to sensitise judges on laws pertaining to atrocities on destitute women here on Saturday.

Judges, lawyers and government officials from Dharwad and Haveri will take part in the two-day workshop organised by the Karnataka Judicial Academy, in association with the Karnataka Arogya Samvardhana Pratisthan.

“Nearly 95 per cent of sex workers have joined the profession out of compulsion. How is it justified to treat them badly?” he asked.

Justice Kumar observed that judges, especially women judges, who handle cases pertaining to such exploited women should take a judicious view instead of applying the law blindly. Help should be extended for resettlement of the victims and to avail the benefits of various government welfare schemes meant for them, he said.

Karnataka High Court judge Justice Jawad Raheem presided over the session.

Dharwad Deputy Commissioner Sameer Shukla, Zilla Parishad CEO P.A. Meghannavar, Deputy Commissioner of Police Shrinath Joshi and Superintendent of Police Lokeshkumar spoke.