India is such a vast country where people perform several
type of works to sustain there life and to earn basic
livelihood. Some of these works are part organized sector
where everything have some established process but at the
same time there are several work which comes under
unorganized sector and the individual were exploited in
these sector because there was no proper follow of the laws.
Even the individual were denied there fundamental (basic)
right which was important for individual to live a dignified
life i.e. life with respect in society. In such a scenario
where people in society hold stigma about sex workers and
there works, living a dignified life is very challenging.
They have to face several difficulty to fulfill basic
requirement and basic livelihood.
- For several years there is
doubt about whether the work of prostitution comes under profession or not?
- If there is some rights available to such worker?
- Can there fundamental right be dissolved ?
- What protection they hold under constitution/IPC etc?
In general term we can say that prostitution means engaging in
sexual activity with other person who is not your legally
spouse or friend, in exchange for some amount of money.
There is no proper law in India related to work of prostitutio
n which regulate them and govern them. Generally to
regulate it there is Immoral traffic (Prevention) Act 1956,
Indian Penal Code as well as Juvenile Justice Act, all these
are some provisions in India which deals with prostitution an
d human trafficking.
Supreme court in Budhadev Karmaskar vs
State of West Bengal
held that prostitutes are entitled to dignity as well as equal protection under the law and hence we
can say prostitution is part of term "Profession". In India,
voluntary sex is not illegal in India and no one can we
charged for voluntary sex but running brothels as well as
place where prostitution can we performed is illegal and it
is punishable under IPC and several other provisions of the
land. SC ordered that when authorities are raiding such broth
els, they cannot illegally arrest , maltreat or harassed the
individual who were performing such activities because
voluntary sex is not illegal in India.
�Apart from this if
the sex workers face any sexual harassment than the police
authorities many a times denies to file there complaint and
in such a situation the victims of the harassment not get the
desired justice. SC tries to solve this problem of sex worker
by asking District legal service authority and state legal
service authority provide support and guidance to such
victims of assault and harassment.
Many a time media in order
to increase there TRP as well as to increase viewer ship they
expose sex racket and in doing so they reveal face of sex worker and sex worker have to face online bashing from netizens.
SC also in same order held that if media tries to reveal the
identity of prostitute as well as there clients, then they
will be liable under Section 354C of IPC.
The government from time to time formulate certain policies which were made
for the sex workers but the problem with such policies/decision
ns is that the beneficiary of the policies were not consulted
and that's why the problem of sex workers were not resolved.
Supreme Court in Budhadev case recommended that centre/state
government must consult with the beneficiary of the policies
i.e. sex workers before forming any policies or taking any
decisions. Apart from all these problems which sex workers
face in there day to day life, there are many others issues
which prevent them from living a good life.
The prostitute were denied for the identity card (Aadhar card) as well Ration
card by the authority just because of the work and
professional life. Because of lack of identity and other
such cards they were not able to get the several social bene
fits which were launched by the State as well as Central government.
SC order the authorities to immediately issue Aadhar and
all other important documents to sex workers and also ask
them to ensure that in future no one should be denied because of there
professional life. Some of the issues faced by sex
workers were resolved but at same time there are several unresolved issued which was very important to be solved. The following
are the unresolved or issues faced by the workers in India:
- Many a time individual involved in prostitution face unwanted pregnancy and face several problem because of that. It was
important that these workers should get proper information
about several contraceptive like condoms, vasectomy, pills etc
and in this process government plays a very vital role because government have
several medium to spread information about different contraceptives available in the market.
- Secondly, when these sex workers got pregnant and want to
aborted the child they were denied by the hospital on several
silly reasons. It was responsibility of the government to make necessary legislation which ensure that the victims of un-wanted pregnancy were able to
aborted the child as well as th-
ey get proper medication.
- Thirdly, there are several situations where these workers
were not able to maintain livelihood because of several reasons which also include Covid
pandemic etc. As we have seen during the covid situation the sex workers face a great difficulty and also they were not able to avail the several bene-
fits which government provide to its citizens. In such a situation it was important and also it was duty of both the government
as well as judiciary to protect the interest of these sex workers.
In India we know poverty is still prevalent mostly all over
the country and people because of poverty have to perform certain works which
ensure that they earn basic livelihood but in doing so they sometime perform
some illegal activities. But in case of prostitution as we know is not illegal rather
it was legally allowed because voluntary sex is not a crime in India.
In performing there work they have to face several
difficulty and in country like India which is still a developing country where
people are still conservative and they consider prostitution as a sin. Some of the problems are solved b-
ut still there are some unleft issues which need to be solved
in the near future.
Written By: Vedant Pandey
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