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Apex Court recognizes sex work as a profession

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Apex Court recognizes sex work as a profession

The Supreme Court has issued directions to create favorable conditions for sex workers to lead a life with dignity in accordance with Article 21. These instructions have been issued under Article-142.

Article 142 confers discretionary power on the Supreme Court to do complete justice in any matter pending before or before it.

Supreme Court guidelines:

  • No police intervention or criminal action will be taken against adult and consenting sex workers.
  • The child should not be separated from the mother merely on the ground that he is engaged in prostitution.
  • The media should not publish their photographs or reveal their identities when reporting rescue operations.
  • The Center and the states should involve sex workers or their representatives to reform the laws.
  • UIDAI will provide Aadhar card to sex workers even if they are unable to produce proof of residence.
  • It is issued by the National AIDS Control Organization (NACO) or the state health department.

Problems associated with sex workers:

  • They face violence, criminalization and marginalization;
  • They are at high risk of getting infected with HIV etc.

Legal status of sex work in India:

Under the Indian Penal Code (IPC), voluntary sexual acts or prostitution are not considered illegal. However, under the Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956 it is illegal to run, broker or own a brothel.

Other initiatives for sex workers:

  • Rehabilitation plan for sex workers,
  • ‘Ujjawala’, a comprehensive Scheme for prevention of trafficking and rescue, rehabilitation and reintegration of victims of trafficking for commercial sexual exploitation.

Source – The Hindu

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