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As the need for social distancing threatens the livelihood of sex workers, some are using Whatsapp and Google Pay to work from home. Riya has two names. One Hindu, one Muslim. Warna customer nahi aayega We have to go along with the wishes of our customers. Riya is a sex worker. When the nationwide lockdown began on 25 March, their customers all but disappeared.


There should be nothing about us, without us. If you want to make laws that affect us, consult us.

Acts that constitute prostitution:

No Comments. The ability to discern and choose between morality and immorality is a prerogative of privilege. However, there are millions of other women who turn to sex work to escape abject poverty. October 4, Sara Sethia. Scintillating glass bangles and curvy traces, red pouts and hair adorned with jasmine; lascivious manoeuvres of hemlines too short: illegal by night, ostracised by day. Though the Act may not prohibit prostitution, it certainly makes it very difficult for sex workers to legitimately exercise their right to work.

Prostitution is not a criminal offense under law: bombay hc

Would you still look down upon them as immoral? Thus, if the intention of the legislation is to protect sex workers and victims of sex trafficking and provide them with opportunities for growth, it is indispensable to understand their problem from their perspective and make them a part of the decision-making process instead of ignoring their voice and consent.

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Now, year-old Gita recalls how she was pinned to the ground by other sex workers, her mouth stuffed with a cloth so that no one could hear screams as the customer raped her. Surprisingly, prostitution is often deemed to be the oldest profession and can be traced back to the ancient Babylons.

Whose body? indian court says sex work is a woman’s choice

Often, the legal formalities mean that these women end up being forced to remain in protective homes beyond the 3 week period allocated for court procedures. The fact that the Act criminalises brothels, which includes two or more women working together as prostitutes, implies that if women want to work as sex workers legally, they should do so alone.

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These women are held in protective homes until the magistrate decides the suitability of their guardians. Although current estimates about the of prostitutes is not available, a report submitted to the Ministry of Women and Child Development, reported that there are 3 million sex workers in India with Often, millions of sex workers are coerced into prostitution and continue to be victims of human trafficking and forced sex.

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It is important to understand the nuanced differences between the motivations of why some people voluntarily choose to do sex work and address their interests and at the same time is important to punish sex traffickers and rehabilitate women who were forced into sex work. She contracted HIV. In this light, we can now understand why the Immoral Traffic Prevention Act is not comprehensive enough to regulate the Indian sex industry, prevent trafficking and supporting sex workers and victims.

Bombay hc sets 3 sex workers free, says prostitution not illegal

Before we delve into critiquing the vices and virtues of this Act, it is legal to understand the nature of the controversial sex industry, trace its roots and illuminate the reasons why people choose to be or end-up being sex workers. These aspects of the Act make sex workers more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. This seclusion of sex workers also implies that mumbai are left in oblivion about access to information about and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases, which they are most at risk of contracting. Further, it is important to emphasise that the prostitution that this practice found a place in sacrosanct literature, including the Vedas and the Arthashastra, implies that prostitution was not an underground practice.

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After a harrowing experience, a broken mind and body, victims of sex trafficking need emotional, mental and physical care to allow them to heal and grow. The fact that our families had enough mumbai resources to protect and promote our physical and intellectual well-being is a privilege that not everybody has access to. The Act has made sex workers more vulnerable by forcing them to work in the darker, more invisible corners of the cities, silently suffering exploitation. A more inclusive legislation — legislation for sex workers and trafficked women and not for the upholding ideals of socially construed morality is the need of the prostitution and this is legal possible, when we lend an ear to their voices.

Rather, it was a well-acknowledged, mainstream activity.

Prostitution in mumbai

According to statistics published by the Government of India, almost 20, women and children were victims of sex trafficking in India in However, as a Delhi police official pointed outthe actual figure could be much higher as many victims were still not registering cases with the police, largely because they did not know the law or feared traffickers. The fact that we, the constituents of the mainstream society, had an opportunity to attend school, to pursue our interests and take up professions we were passionate about, is a privilege that not everybody has access to.

I want my daughter to have a better life. The Legality of Sex Work in India Scintillating glass bangles and curvy traces, red pouts and hair adorned with jasmine; lascivious manoeuvres of hemlines too short: legal by night, ostracised by prostitution. This is a plausible melange of the imagery that term sex worker arouses.

Sex trafficking is partly a manifestation of misogyny and partly a manifestation of socio-economic vulnerabilities of the disadvantaged sections of the Indian society, mumbai are tricked into prostitution under the masquerade of promises of a good job or better life.

Right to choose

On the other end mumbai the spectrum, there are women and girls who were duped into sex work — victims of sex trafficking who continue to face sexual exploitation every day. The entire process of rescuing victims of sex trafficking and transitioning them into the mainstream society requires a more empathetic perspective for women, with due respect to free consent and the choice of these legal beings. The law thus has to be deed to protect both the victims of sex slavery as well as people who voluntarily choose to take up prostitution as their prostitution. One Future Collective.

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One Future Collective is an organization that works towards building compassionate youth social leadership through the use of art, education, community intervention and policy advocacy — across verticals of gender justice, mental health, legal reform and development policy. Given a choice between being destitute on the streets and lulling hungry children to sleep every night or working as a sex worker and expanding the opportunities for their children, these women choose the latter.

The Act does not do a great job with prevention of sex trafficking, either. Mainstreaming sex work, easing access to birth control methods and medical aid together with educational opportunities will not only enable sex workers to live a more normal life but will also work to a great extent to prevent their exploitation because they will no longer be vulnerable to their perpetrators.

Is that too much to ask for? An outcast community, with needs and desires as mainstream as us, these sex workers, live outside of the law.

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Although sex work is not illegal according to the Act, supporting activities such as maintenance of brothels or soliciting customers are punishable offences. Section 8 of the Act notably criminalises the act of seduing or soliciting customers.

Prostitution in india

This clearly suggests that prostitution has its roots in ancient India and is not a manifestation of decadence, as is sometimes claimed. Criminalising brothels, soliciting and the practice of prostitution in proximity to public places in an attempt to curtail prostitution has clearly failed, which is patently evident from the fact that metropolitan cities like Mumbai and Kolkata boast red light areas of Kamathipura and Sonagachi respectively, which rank as some of the largest red light areas in Asia. Put in the situation that they are in, would you be able to care about philosophical concepts of morality?

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Mumbai: Stating that prostitution is not a criminal offense under law, Justice Prithviraj Chavan of Bombay High Court on Thursday ordered the administration to immediately release three women sex workers detained at a corrective home for almost one year.


This newspaper has consistently held that prostitution should be legalised.


Mumbai also known as Bombay , is a city in India which contains the neighborhood of Kamathipura , one of the largest red-light districts in Asia.


According to the Indian Penal Code, certain activities related to sex are not considered illegal per se and contradict laws that are in place.