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Is Prostitution legal in India? Prostitution in India

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On May 19, 2022, the Supreme Court of India (SC) gained attention by ordering that prostitution be recognized as a trade and emphasized that sex workers, like in any other trade, have the right to dignity and constitutional protections. Surprisingly, prostitution has never been technically outlawed in India. Although, certain actions associated with sex work are illegal within Indian law, including pimping, leasing out properties to operate a brothel, and so on.

Is Prostitution legal in India Prostitution in India

The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act of 1956 stated that sex workers could perform their trade, but anybody who made a living from prostitution would be prosecuted.

This includes acquiring, trying to kidnap, or enticing an individual for sex work; a step big enough to put a stop to sexual exploitation. Furthermore, the Law says sex workers should keep a minimum of 200 meters from any public venue, ideally in a secluded region with really no public bodies in view, to engage in sex work legitimately.

Prostitution in India

Currently, it is believed that there are roughly 3 million prostitutes in India, with the large bulk being between the ages of 15 and 35. About 15 nations around the globe have varying degrees of sex work rules, generally legalizing and assuring sex workers’ safety. Nations such as New Zealand, Denmark, Germany, and Greece have extremely improved sex work policies that ensure workers’ healthcare and social well-being. 

Regardless of rules and degrees of prohibition, it is critical to recognize that prostitution remains a potential sector, particularly in areas of poverty and societal inequity. It is not on the verge of extinction in India. The issue, though, is not with the art itself. It resides in the manner in which the work is seen.

Current Scenario

The biggest challenges that sex workers in India encounter originate from the fact that, while sex work is legal, the secrecy surrounding it creates the impression that it is unlawful. The policemen, judicial system, and legal experts all lead to sex workers becoming perceived as offenders of wrongdoing rather than victims. Customers’ potential for abuse, aggression, and trauma to sex workers has indeed been overlooked.

It’s a never-ending cycle of isolation, hardship, and, eventually, marginalization. Babies born to prostitutes are unlikely to be accepted into public institutions for even basic education. Several of these do not have an appropriate identity to receive public assistance. For the offspring of sex workers, the upward path of movement that appears so effortlessly attainable in our free democracy by virtue of merit is far from actual fact. Plenty of girl children continue to work in the same field as their mothers.

The Supreme Court’s directives are merely the initial stride in eliminating a portion of the constraints which sex workers constantly endure. For these sex workers, surviving is the first objective in a nation like India that is plagued by deprivation, misery, unemployment, and inequities. The morals of the essence of any work must not be considered while establishing professional classifications. As a democratic republic, India’s law guarantees fairness, equity, and freedom to all segments of society.

Also Read: How to Save Tax In India

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